SIDNEY, Ohio (WDTN) – Interstate 75 is now re-opened for traffic after a leaking tanker truck forced a shut down of all lanes between SR 274 and US 36 in Shelby County Tuesday.
The tanker was stopped on the ramp from SR 47 to southbound I-75 and was leaking anhydrous ammonia.
About 5,000 people within half a mile to the northeast of the scene were asked to evacuate their homes, but that evacuation order has since been canceled.
Some businesses in the immediate area of the leak were also forced to close.
David Crosslin left work to get his kids from the babysitter’s which was in the danger zone. They walked down the street with napkins covering their faces as a precaution.
“It’s always better to be safe than sorry,” Crosslin says.
The driver of the truck said he discovered the leak around 10 a.m. when he was flagged by another motorist and pulled over to investigate.
Officials aren’t sure yet what caused the leak.
Crews did what they could to control the leak.
“Initially we had water flowing on the vessel trying to suppress those vapors when it was off gassing,” says Sidney Fire Lt. Chad Hollinger.
The Ohio EPA will do testing to see if the water used contaminated the nearby soil.
The remaining 20 tons of anhydrous ammonia on the leaking truck had to be transferred to another tanker.
Anhydrous ammonia is used in the agriculture industry as fertilizer and is a gas that is stored at high pressure.
Human exposure can cause dehydration, burns, difficulty breathing, eye, nose, and throat irritation. Any one exposed needs to be flushed with water for at least 15 minutes.
No injuries were reported.