WAKEFIELD (CBS) — Part of Route 128 was shut down Saturday morning while HAZMAT teams dealt with a dangerous fuel leak caused by a tanker truck rollover crash.
That tanker was eventually removed, and the highway was reopened in both directions shortly after 9 a.m.
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The crash, which involved three other cars, happened around 12:30 a.m. just south of Exit 39 in Wakefield.
WBZ-TV’s Mike LaCrosse reported around 7 a.m. that traffic was at a standstill in both directions–and Wakefield Fire Chief Michael Sullivan said the highway was expected to be shut down for hours.
“We’re gonna take our time do everything safely,” Sullivan said. “Unfortunately, it means the highway is going to be shutdown for a long period of time.”
The truck was heading southbound while carrying 11,000 gallons of gasoline. Something caused the truck to flip over, landing on the Jersey barrier in the median.
Authorities told WBZ-TV the driver was not hurt, and the drivers of the other three cars were not injured.
Chief Sullivan said the fuel spill caused a level-3 HAZMAT situation. A second tanker truck was brought in to offload the fuel so the truck could be brought upright–but Sullivan said the process was taking longer than anticipated due to the cold weather.
“It’s dripping very very slowly,” said Chief Sullivan. “It’s a controlled leak. We’re just monitoring the leak, diking it, and taking precautions against ignition.”
Chief Sullivan said only about 25 of the 11,000 gallons leaked out onto the highway, and stressed that it was not an environmental issue.
There’s no word yet what caused the crash.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports