Tanker rollover blocks traffic for hours
By LPR Staff
No one was injured, but many were inconvenienced when a tanker truck rolled over on FM 20 East on Thursday afternoon.
The Lockhart Fire and Police Departments received a call around 1:40 p.m. on Thursday, advising them of a one-vehicle rollover accident near the intersection of FM 20 and Pancho Street in Lockhart. Upon a
rriving at the scene, emergency workers determined that only the trailer had rolled over, and no drivers had been injured at the scene.
However, it was soon discovered that the upturned tanker was leaking a potentially hazardous material onto the ground.
LPD officers immediately shut down traffic on FM20, diverting it through a nearby N 3257, PG III, according to a press release distributed by the Lockhart Fire Department on Monday afternoon. The owners of the trailer, Asphalt Transport, Inc. (ATI), out of Channelview, Texas, reported the chemical to be the liquid portion used to make asphalt.
LFD spokesman Capt. Clint Browning indicated that the product does involve a combustible hazard, the greater concern is the temperature, 360 degrees, at which the product is transported.
“As dry as it’s been, there’s a concern that material that hot seeping out of the truck is going to cause some bigger problems,” speculated County Fire Marshal Jeff Wright, who was not on the scene, but rather was attending to a large brush fire in the Tilmon area.
Immediately after the initial accident, police and fire officials created a 1,000-meter perimeter around the accident scene and declined to allow individuals not living or working in the immediate area or involved with the cleanup efforts, any closer to the scene. Around 4:30 p.m., that perimeter was decreased and bystanders and media were allowed to approach the scene.
The only facility evacuated was the LCRA substation located immediately downwind from the crash. The LCRA facility is also well within what was established as the safety zone. LCRA officials remained on the scene until the truck was uprighted, the LFD release said.
“Approximately 500 gallons of material was spilled on the ground,” Browning noted. “The product at no time threatened to affect the groundwater or any waterway. All of the product that was spilled was recovered, and all of the ground affected was cleaned by a company contracted by ATI’s insurance company.”
During the course of events on Thursday afternoon and evening, the Lockhart Fire Department requested assistance from the San Marcos Fire Rescue Hazardous Materials Team, Travis County Fire Rescue and the Luling Fire Department.
The Lockhart Police Department is still investigating the cause of the accident to determine whether citations will be issued.
Any further information regarding the LFD response can be obtained from Browning or Lockhart Fire Chief Jerry Doyle at (512) 398-3461. Information regarding ATI can be obtained from Steve Graning at (281) 452-7070.