Sodium hydroxide spilled on I-65 South, North at Greensprings Avenue causing major delays


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — (UPDATE (6/27 9:24 P.M.) The spill has been contained. I-65 is still closed at the Green Springs Ave. exit but I-65 North has been re-opened prior to and past that point. Motorists will have to take the exit ramp and re-enter the highway via the on ramp to continue traveling northbound.

ORIGINAL: We are following breaking news of a hazardous spill that’s causing major delays Thursday afternoon. It happened around 4:45 p.m. on Interstate 65 south at the Green Springs Ave. exit.

According to James Coker with the Birmingham EMA, a hazmat crew is headed to the scene. Drivers are urged to use caution in the area.

According to authorities at the scene, an 18-wheeler was carrying sodium hydroxide, also known as lye. The truck was leaking the substance while driving down the interstate and the driver of the truck was alerted by another motorist. The truck pulled over, and that’s when officials were called to the scene.

I-65 north will also be closed off. Officials say this will be to keep people out of the area until it is safe.

Authorities also say that I-65 south and north will be “shut down for several hours.” They are currently working to find alternate routes.

One firefighter was transported to UAB Hospital for precautionary measures.

Battalion Chief Sebastian Carrillo with Birmingham Fire and Rescue tells CBS 42 that the spilled chemicals do not pose a threat to the public.

Gavin McDonald is a local resident who was just passing by, and saw it all happen.

“The bins of chemical just flew out and went everywhere,” said McDonald. “There were cars just dodging stuff everywhere and nobody died, nobody collided thank goodness.”

With I-65 closed, local resident George Morales tells CBS 42 that he couldn’t even drive down the road to go to the store.

“That’s why i come to the store for something by walking because there’s too much traffic,” said Morale. “I can’t drive there in my car.”

Stay with CBS 42 for the latest updates in this incident.

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