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Tanker truck overturns on I-10, evacuation ordered
JEFFERSON COUNTY - by Scott Lawrence - A tanker truck carrying ethanol has overturned on I-10 near Hamshire Road, about ten miles west of Beaumont, prompting law enforcement officers to shut down both sides of I-10 and evacuate families near the accident site, according to information KFDM News has received from Deputy Rod Carroll with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
KFDM reporter Lindsey Kovacevich has been on the scene since early this morning. Watch Live at 5 and KFDM News at 6/10, and stay with kfdm.com for updates.
Familes within a half mile radius of the accident site have been told to shelter-in-place. Originally, the shelter-in-place order affected families within a two mile radius.
The highway could be closed for most of the day, according to law enforcement officers, while hazmat crews work the scene and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality investigates.
Carroll says the tanker truck overturned shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday, near the 833 mile marker of I-10 East.
Two compartments on the fully loaded tanker truck ruptured when the tanker overturned, according to Carroll, who told KFDM News ethanol is highly explosive and can cause breathing problems. It's an irritant to the eyes, lungs and skin.
The driver was taken by Acadian Ambulance to Baptist Beaumont Hospital, according to a spokeswoman for Acadian. He received cuts and is in stable condition.
Law enforcement officers evacuated about ten homes on Powers Road, near the accident site, as a precaution, according to DPS Trooper Stephanie Davis. Officers have told families within half a mile of the scene to shelter-in-place.
Students and staff at Hamshire-Fannett High School sheltered-in-place until 11 a.m., when the order was lifted.
The driver was traveling from Channelview to the Citgo Refinery in Lake Charles when he fell asleep and overcorrected, according to Trooper Davis.
Law enforcement officers are routing drivers heading to Houston off I-10 West at Highway 365. They are strongly urged to take Highway 90 to Houston.
Officers are routing drivers coming from Houston to Beaumont off I-10 near Winnie and onto Highway 73 and then Highway 124.
KFDM has a crew on the scene. Stay with KFDM and kfdm.com for updates.