Two lanes of I-85 south in Charlotte reopen after HazMat spill - | WBTV Charlotte

Two lanes of I-85 south in Charlotte reopen after HazMat spill


Two lanes of traffic on I-85 south at Little Rock Road are back open as crews continue to clear up a spill of hazardous chemicals.

It was a serious situation that closed a major freeway in the area most of Friday morning.

Firefighters tell WBTV News a semi truck broke apart along I-85 southbound just past Little Rock Road in west Charlotte, spilling a 55-gallon drum of sodium bisulfide. Sodium bisulfide is described as a very corrosive acidic type liquid around 1:00am. 

State troopers shut down all lanes of traffic until about 6 a.m. At that point, they reopened one lane of traffic. The second lane reopened around 6:30.

Two live news trucks belonging to Charlotte television stations accidentally got right in the thick of things.

When the vehicles got to the scene, police had not yet blocked off all lanes of the highway.

Because of that, the drivers of both trucks drove over the corrosive liquid on the road. Both live trucks had to be quarantined and decontaminated.

It was a process which took several hours to complete.

The Charlotte Fire Department contained and neutralized the spill then turned the scene over to SERT, a private Hazmat cleanup company.

As for why it took so long to clean up: the truck was carrying more chemicals which needed to be safely offloaded.  North Carolina Highway Patrol is the lead investigating agency.

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