April 16, 2024

Arizona nitric acid leak: Shelter-in-place order reinstated after Tucson interstate crash

Arizona authorities announced Wednesday morning that a Tuesday afternoon shelter-in-place order following a deadly rollover that resulted in a hazmat spill has been reinstated.Β 

“Unified Command has reinstated the shelter in place order for a one-mile perimeter around the incident. While crews were attempting to remove the load from the commercial vehicle, gassing occurred. I-10 remains closed in both directions between Kolb & Rita roads in Tucson,” the Arizona Department of Public Safety tweeted.Β 

Residents were advised to avoid the area and seek alternate routes of travel, and the department said that Unified Command anticipates an “extensive closure.”Β 

Anyone within a one-mile perimeter of the incident was instructed to turn off heaters as well as air conditioning systems that bring in outside air.

ARIZONA NITRIC ACID SPILL CAUSED BY DEADLY ROLLOVER LEADS TO ‘EXTENSIVE CLOSURE’ OF FREEWAY, COMMUTES AFFECTED

The department had said the evacuation order was expected to be lifted at 6 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

The crash of a commercial tanker truck caused liquid nitric acid to leak onto Interstate 10 outside of Tucson, shutting down the highway and forcing evacuations.Β 

All residents within a half a mile were ordered to leave and those within a mile were told to shelter in place for several hours.Β 

The University of Arizona Tech Park was among the areas evacuated and the Arizona Daily Star reported that some schoolchildren in Rita Ranch were among those who sheltered in place.

ARIZONA AUTHORITIES ISSUE EVACUATION, SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDERS AFTER NITRIC ACID SPILL

Those who had been evacuated were to remain evacuated as of late Tuesday.Β 

The driver of the truck was killed.

Nitric acid is used to make ammonium nitrate for fertilizers and in the manufacture of plastics and dyes.

Exposure to nitric acid can irritate the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Depending on the dosage, it also can also cause delayed pulmonary edema, pneumonitis, bronchitis and dental erosion.

It is a highly corrosive, colorless liquid with yellow or red fumes and can cause an acrid smell, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Associated press contributed to this report.Β 

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