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All Travel Lanes Open On Route 128 After Overturned Tanker Truck Spills Fuel

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WOBURN (CBS) – Crews reopened all travel lanes on Route 128 southbound by 7:15 a.m. Tuesday, one day after a tanker truck overturned and spilled thousands of gallons of fuel onto the highway.

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WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports.

The tanker overturned at around 10 p.m. Monday on Rte. 128 in Woburn, spilling 8,000 gallons of fuel, almost the tanker’s entire load.

Another vehicle was involved in the crash, and both drivers were hurt, though neither suffered serious injuries.

Police say the car was driving in the second travel lane from the right when it attempted to exit the highway. The car moved over to the rightmost lane and slowed rapidly. The tanker truck struck the car, swerved and flipped over.

The tanker was being operated by 50-year-old Michael Cormier of Waltham. The car was being operated by 53-year-old Jane Lindsay of Dorchester.

The fuel spill led crews to temporarily evacuate nearby homes, business, and a hotel.

“There’s still a very real danger of ignition, because the flammable levels are still very much with the flammable range,” said Fire Chief Paul Tortolano of the Woburn Fire Department Tuesday morning. “The vapor burns, so we are concerned with that.”

As of Tuesday night, the crash was still being investigated and there were no charges filed.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Fuel from the spill got into the soil on the side of the highway and also into the highway drainage system, which leads to the Aberjona River.

Environmental officials said soil along highway will have to be replaced.

Crews, meanwhile, are working to vacuum up the fuel from the river.

TRAFFIC IMPACT

By 7:15 a.m., crews reopened all travel lanes on Rte. 128 between Route 28 and Winn Street.

The ramp off Exit 36 was reopened just after 7 a.m., while the ramp getting onto Rte. 128 opened later in the morning.

Meanwhile, all lanes on Rte. 128 northbound were open during the morning commute.

Major delays are expected on Rte. 128 south in that area throughout the day.

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