Thursday, March 23, 2000

Overturned tanker stalls traffic

Chemical spill in Anderson not health threat

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ANDERSON TOWNSHIP — A tanker carrying a chemical used in solid waste treatment overturned Wednesday morning, closing an interstate ramp and stalling traffic for hours.

        The truck, owned by the Transport Service Co. of Midland, Mich., was en route to the Secodyne Co. in New Richmond.

        Anderson Township Assistant Fire Chief Mark Ober said the truck was exiting Interstate 275 onto the U.S. 52 New Richmond ramp when the driver lost control and overturned. No other vehicle was involved.

        The driver, Jeff Wilson of Bay City, Mich., received minor injuries. He was treated and released from Anderson Mercy Hospital.

        Steve Barnett, spokesman for the Hamilton County sheriff's office, said Mr. Wilson will be cited for failure to control a vehicle, a misdemeanor.

        The accident call came in about 6 a.m., Mr. Ober said.

        Fire trucks and rescue units rushed to the scene from Anderson, Pierce, Miami and Sycamore townships, the Florence, Ky., Fire Department, the Greater Cincinnati Hazardous Material Unit and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

        Traffic was blocked entering the ramp for most of Wednesday. It reopened at 8:30 p.m.

        The truck was carrying 5,600 gallons of acrylamide, a chemical used to manufacture polymers for waste wa ter treatment operations. Mr. Ober said about 75 to 100 gallons of the chemical spilled onto the street after the truck overturned.

        “The spillage did not present a health hazard,” Mr. Ober said. “There are vent valves at the top of the tank that allow for leakage. When the truck overturned, we couldn't shut off the valves.”

        The Pro Terra Cleanup company of Columbus was called to transfer the chemicals from the overturned tanker to another truck.

        The overturned truck had to be lifted slowly to drain the chemicals, Mr. Ober said.

        “The biggest problem is preventing the tank from collapsing,” Mr. Ober said. “The truck is equipped with an inside and outside tank. If the outside tank collapses, we will have serious problems.”

        He said the New Richmond ramp has been the scene of several accidents in the last five years.

        Russ Jackson, an Anderson Township trustee, said the board will address that issue.

        “If it is causing that many accidents, we have to ask the state about putting additional signage at the ramp,” Mr. Jackson said.


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