Overturned 18-wheeler spills chemicals, shuts down US 98 in Greene County

Overturned 18-wheeler spills chemicals, shuts down US 98 in Greene County
The one-vehicle accident, which happened just before 8:00 a.m., leaked a chemical on the road, causing drivers to only use the eastbound lanes as crews worked to clear the area.  (Photo Source: Mississippi Highway Patrol)
The one-vehicle accident, which happened just before 8:00 a.m., leaked a chemical on the road, causing drivers to only use the eastbound lanes as crews worked to clear the area.  (Photo Source: Mississippi Highway Patrol)
The one-vehicle accident, which happened just before 8:00 a.m., leaked a chemical on the road, causing drivers to only use the eastbound lanes as crews worked to clear the area.  (Photo Source: Mississippi Highway Patrol)
The one-vehicle accident, which happened just before 8:00 a.m., leaked a chemical on the road, causing drivers to only use the eastbound lanes as crews worked to clear the area.  (Photo Source: Mississippi Highway Patrol)

GREENE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Traffic was rerouted Wednesday following an overturned 18-wheeler on US 98 in Greene County. The one-vehicle accident, which happened just before 8:00 a.m., leaked a chemical on the road causing officials to warn drivers to stay clear of the area between Merrit Road and Midway Church Road.

The tanker was carrying trimethlamine anhydrous, which is considered to be extremely flammable and can be ignited by heat, sparks or flames. If its inhaled, it can cause toxic effects and contact with the chemical results in burns, severe injury and/or frostbite.

According to Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Trooper Travis Luck, multiple emergency crews were on the scene testing for chemical leaks inside the tanker. He said the accident appeared to be a result of the driver driving off the right shoulder causing him to lose control and overturn. However, Luck said the driver believes his tire blew out. But, authorities were not able to confirm it immediately due to concerns about hazardous materials.

Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area as emergency crews are still working to clean up the scene. Those traveling eastbound will be directed to take Hwy 57 and those traveling westbound will be diverted to Hwy 63. There is no timeframe of when the accident will be cleared, Luck says.

No injuries were reported in the accident.