Units respond to hazardous material call

Published 10:18 am Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Acid leaking from a truck forced authorities to shut down the westbound Interstate 20 truck scales and briefly close one lane of the Interstate Tuesday evening.

The incident occurred about 5:41 p.m. Warren County Emergency Management director John Elfer said a truck owned by International Extrusion traveling from Calhoun, Ga., to Texas carrying acid-based chemicals sulfamic, sodium hydroxide and a corrosive acid pulled into the scales and the driver reported he had a leak. The materials, he said, are used to prepare an area for painting

“Apparently, it had been leaking for several miles,” Elfer said. “We don’t know how the driver found out about the leak. It’s possible the driver of a truck behind him may have seen the leak and told him.”

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He said Warren County volunteer and Vicksburg firefighters, Mississippi Department of Transportation officers, Mississippi Highway Patrol, Warren County sheriff’s deputies and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality officials responded to the call.

“We evacuated the weigh station house and blocked off the station,” Elfer said. “There are some people living about a half-mile from the weigh station and we sent sheriff’s deputies to tell them about the spill and to shelter in place. At no time was there a threat to any residences in the area. “Once firefighters and people from DEQ were able to look at the problem, we got consulted hazmat guides and were able to get come professional help.”

He said the single westbound lane of I-20 was reopened later the evening, and the scales remained closed while the spill was cleaned, adding the clean-up was finished about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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