Tuesday a portion of an Arizona freeway was closed in both directions after a commercial truck tanker rolled over on the freeway causing a nitric acid spill. At the time, the Arizona Department of Public Safety closed Interstate 10 between Rita road and Kolb road in Tucson, after they said the spill was “extensive” and urged motorists to avoid the area.
As the spill occurred an alert went out in Pima County alerting everyone within a one-mile radius of the spill to shelter in place. They had said they weren’t sure when they would have the road cleaned. And several areas had been evacuated due to the spill.
Nitric acid is a highly corrosive chemical that is used in manufacturing and fertilizer, according to Fox News.
While, at the time, authorities had not mentioned any danger to the public, today the Arizona Department of Public Safety (ADPS) reinstated a shelter-in-place order for the one-mile perimeter around the crash.
The ADPS said that while attempting to remove the nitric acid from the area and the vehicle it was traveling in, gassing occurred. This has caused a reignited concern for the area. The section of Interstate 10 remains closed.
DPS said in a statement, according to CNN,
“Unified Command advises anyone within the one-mile perimeter to turn off heaters and/or air conditioning systems that bring in outside air,” the news release said. “The public should avoid the area and motorists should seek an alternate route.”
At this time the shelter-in-place order has not been given an expiration date. Though according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to the acid can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.
The driver of the carrier truck, who was not identified to the public, did die in the accident.