A chemical spill following a truck accident off Interstate 75 in Rockcastle County earlier today caused the busy highway to shut down for five hours.
A tractor-trailer carrying a variety of items ran into the embankment and the truck spilled its entire load. Rockcastle County Emergency Management Director David Colson says a relatively small amount of a cleaning chemical seeped out of one of six drums. "This was an inhalation hazard and also reacted with water if it had gotten into water, it had a small reactivity with water. The inhalation hazard was the worst thing pertaining to it," said Colson.
Colson says the southbound lanes of I-75 near the Renfro Valley exit were re-opened by mid-morning. He says some of the worst traffic concerns occurred in Berea along the detour route. "Berea had a terrible traffic impact. We were trying to work with them to try to alleviate this as quickly as we can. That's why we, as quickly as we could got the one northbound lane open to try to relieve the traffic on Berea also," added Colson.
The truck driver was treated for injuries. It's not yet clear why the truck left the roadway.