Contact: Battalion Chief Brad Fraizer, Fire Marshal
Monday through Friday 8am - 5pm
The Columbia Fire Department was dispatched to a reported roll over accident involving a semi-tractor trailer on Interstate 70 at the 128 mile marker at 8:47am on Friday, June 28, 2013. While en route additional information that this was tanker carrying anhydrous ammonia was received. The shift commander then requested the Columbia Fire Departments Hazardous Materials Truck respond.
Units arrived on the scene at 8:53am and found a semi-tractor trailer on its side, in the median. No other vehicles were involved. Fire crews quickly assessed the drivers condition and the integrity of the tank carrying the anhydrous ammonia. The driver was in stable condition with serious but non-life threatening injuries. Damage to the cab required that he be extricated using the jaws of life. The tank was intact and no product had been released. Crews did identify approximately twenty gallons of diesel fuel in the median and quickly contained it to the immediate area. As protocol dictates, the Department of Natural of Natural Resources was notified.
Both eastbound traffic lanes on I-70 were shut down while crews extricated the driver. This took approximately twenty five minutes from the time of arrival. The driver was transported to University Hospital. One of the eastbound lanes was re-opened. The tractor trailer belongs to MFA. Representatives of MFA arrived quickly on the scene and are working now to off-load the anhydrous ammonia from the tanker. Once that is complete the vehicle and trailer will be towed off. The cause of the accident is not known at this time.
Anhydrous ammonia is a widely used source of nitrogen fertilizer that is stored and handled under high pressure. It is also very caustic and can cause severe chemical burns.
Six units from the Columbia Fire Department responded to this event.