[cifnmedia] wreck closed 270 for hours

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 20:41:07 -0700 (PDT)

Trailer wreck closed 270 for hours
By Heather Ratcliffe and Sara Shipley
Of the Post-Dispatch
A semi-tractor tank truck overturned about 3 a.m. today, blocking both 
directions on Interstate 270 near Lilac Avenue in north St. Louis County. 

Crews worked through rush hour traffic to clean the ethanol that leaked from 
the tank. At about 1:30 p.m., it appeared that all lanes of westbound I-270 had 
been reopened except the right lane. Eastbound lanes were open. Visit the 
Gateway Guide web site for more traffic information 

John Whitaker, an on-scene coordinator for the Missouri Department of Natural 
Resources, said about 4,600 gallons of ethanol from the 6,400-gallon tank 
spilled. He said some of the fuel ran into Watkins Creek, which empties into 
the Mississippi River about a half-mile away.

Whitaker said he saw some dead minnows in the creek. Personnel from the 
Missouri Conservation Department were en route to look at the extent of the 
wildlife damage.

Ethanol mixes with water, so it was impossible to remove it from the creek. 
"It's not highly toxic to the environment," he said. "It will break down fairly 

Some households were evacuated while emergency crews tried to contain the 
highly flammable liquid. Whitaker said he tested air samples with an instrument 
that measures flammable vapors. "We didn't get any readings at all, so we feel 
it's pretty safe," he said.

"I dont think there will be too much of a lasting impact," Whitaker said. 
"Initially there was a pretty high impact, but it's not going to be 

Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network

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