BURRELL TOWNSHIP (KDKA)- What began as a flat tire for a tractor-trailer hauling ammonium hydroxide, quickly erupted into flames as the truck caught on fire and the chemicals spilled.
It happened just after midnight Wednesday on State Route 22 westbound, in Burrell Township, Indiana County.
The westbound lanes were closed for more than six hours.
"There was a bunch of different materials on the vehicle. Our emergency management responded and took the appropriate steps to handle the incident," said Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Mark McMahan. "Due to the fact that it was hauling hazardous materials and caught fire, demanded a call out of such magnitude."
Pictures from the KDKA Facebook page, show the flames that illuminated the early morning sky. Hazmat crews, in full gear, and Indiana County firefighters from several departments worked quickly. First they tested the chemical. Then, they had to clean up the mess.
A normally high-traffic State Route 22 westbound had to be shut down while crews worked.
"We are fortunate that it occurred in the early morning hours, but there still isn't any real good time for this to occur to begin with," said Trooper McMahan before the highway re-opened.
The driver of the ECM Transit trailer wasn't injured. The spill was contained to the accident scene and none of the chemicals reached any nearby waterways.
It's not known where the driver was headed.
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