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Friday, February 11, 2011
I-44 Westbound Lanes Hazardous Material Spill Near St. Clair, Missouri, Closed Several Hours, Franklin County
Feb 11, 2011
Westbound lanes of I-44 near St. Clair were expected to be closed for several hours Friday due to a hazardous material situation near the I-44 rest area in the vicinity of milemarker 239. According to dispatch reports, around 3:30 p.m. a truck began leaking a substance believed to be ammonia, although it was not clear if the truck was on the interstate, or in the rest area. The truck may also have been carrying acid, although reports indicated that substance was not leaking. Both St. Clair rest areas were also reportedly closed.
Firefighters have heard reports the truck is possibly leaking ammonia and hydrochloric acid, but are still trying to determine exact specifics.
Fire Chief Jim Casey with the Boles Fire Protection District said the incident occurred in the westbound lanes of I-44 at mile marker 239, just west of St. Clair. All westbound lanes are closed. The tanker truck had pulled over at a rest stop after the driver noticed a leak. NewsChannel 5 had previously heard an accident had occurred.
Only one person was transported to the hospital to be treated with inhalation.
Hydrochloric acid is a mixture of hydrogren chloride (HCl) and water. It is a strong acid and highly corrosive product with many industrial uses.
Ammonia is used in commercial cleaning products and is characterized by a strong, pungent odor.
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