Toxic Spill on Tennessee Interstate Causes Half Day Shutdown

July 14, 2008

The Tennessee Highway Patrol shut down Interstate 40 in both directions in Cumberland County because of a hazardous material spill.

Mike Browning, a spokesman for the agency, said a crash in the westbound lane between three cars and a tanker truck on July 12 caused the tanker to start leaking.

Authorities said there were minor injuries as a result of the crash. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency also responded.

Troopers rerouted traffic onto Highway 70. Browning said cleanup could take 12 hours and encouraged drivers to avoid the area if possible.

TEMA spokesman Jeremy Heidt said the tanker was carrying titanium tetrachloride, a flammable corrosive and a toxic inhalation and absorption hazard.

“They’ve established a perimeter and are assessing the structural integrity of the tanker,” Heidt said.

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