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Semi carrying hazardous load rolls on I-80 near Echo Canyon

By KSL.com | Posted - Dec. 22, 2010 at 3:32 p.m.


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ECHO CANYON -- A tanker hauling hazardous materials overturned on Interstate 80 near the Wyoming border.

Drivers traveling east on I-80 had to turn around at mile marker 169 between Coalville and Echo and head back down Echo Canyon. The crash just north of Coalville shut down all lanes of traffic and caused major back-ups.

A semi truck hauling hazardous materials rolled underneath the Emory interchange where the frontage road crosses I-80. The contents inside the tanker spilled all over the interstate, including 50 pounds of hydrogen chloride and an unknown flammable substance.

UHP Sgt. Jed Jorgenson said, "The truck was carrying hazardous materials, further found out it was carrying about 200 pounds of hazardous materials some as a poisonous gas, some as a liquid, I guess."

The truck's gas tank also leaked, which just added to the mess.

I-80 had to be shut down in both directions for at least three hours as crews cleaned up the spill. It took HAZMAT teams from Park City Fire and crews from North Summit Fire to clear it up.

Highway Patrol Troopers reopened the freeway just before noon.

Troopers say slippery roads may have caused the crash.

"The roads were bad at the time since the snow stopped a little bit, but they were pretty much snowpacked and slushy all through the canyon," Jorgenson said.

The driver of the semi received only minor injuries.

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Story compiled with contributions from Pat Reavy and Anne Forester.

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