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Semi Carrying Chemicals Crashes and Catches Fire; Evacuations Issued

semi-truck crashed and rolled onto side off highway

According to ABC News, evacuations have been issued to some residents in the area of a tractor-trailer crash due to the spill of hazardous chemicals.

Truck Carrying Pool Cleaning Supplies

At around 2:49 a.m. local time on Wednesday, a semi-truck crashed into another off Interstate 24 near Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The truck was hauling various pool cleaning materials, including chlorine tablets, oxidizers, and other corrosive chemicals. After crashing, the 18-wheeler caught fire and released some of the chemical cleaners.

Officials issued an evacuation for some of the surrounding neighborhoods, citing a potential plume of toxic gas could occur. Other residents were ordered to stay indoors, reports ABC News. The evacuation area is roughly a mile downwind from the trucking accident site.

Emergency crews planned on dousing the chemicals with water, which may cause a cloud of the dangerous toxic gas to be released into the air. Chlorine itself does not burn, but the fumes can be explosive and also cause burning to the eyes, skin, and lungs, according to WTSP. HAZMAT crews along with Rutherford County emergency management are responding to the scene.

ABC News reports that buses were not allowed in the area to pick up children for school in the morning. An official told WTSP that there was no indication of a dangerous gas cloud, but all precautions were being exercised.

Trucking Accident Statistics

The following information is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

  • 3,903 people died in crashes involving large trucks in 2014.
  • An estimated 111,000 people suffered injuries in crashes involving large trucks in 2014.
    • 74 percent of the people injured in these accidents were occupants of other vehicles.
  • An estimated 438,000 large trucks were involved in police-reported traffic crashes during 2014.
  • Seventy-nine percent of the fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2014 occurred on weekdays.
  • In 2014, large trucks accounted for 8 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes.

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