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Fuel spill closes part of Interstate 89 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Fuel spill closes part of Interstate 89

Posted: Updated:
BERLIN, Vt. -

Vermont State Police informed many commuters they needed to find a new route Friday morning. A fuel spill forced emergency responders to close the northbound lane of Interstate 89 between exits 6 and 7, which serve Berlin and Barre.

"It's fuel, so ignition is always a concern," Berlin Fire Chief Miles Silk said.

A truck carrying thousands of gallons of ammonia hit a piece of debris, puncturing the vehicle's gas tank and pouring 75 gallons of diesel fuel onto the highway.

Mopping up took most of the day to complete, as crews sponged up the spill using pads and Speedi Dri.

"Then we pumped the tank, we pumped off the remaining fuel and secure the other tank," Silk said.

Despite closing the highway, crews still faced danger. Our cameras caught two cars after they rolled past police checkpoints. And prior to shutting down traffic, a trooper told us a driver hit one of his flares, kicking it into the fuel and igniting a small fire.

"A lot of the time the motoring public pays attention to what we're doing and not the road itself," Vt. State Police Tpr. Jim Wilborn said.

Just before noon, traffic began flowing again in one lane. Police got the second lane reopened at about 5:30 p.m.

Police say the truck driver reacted properly, but he may need a lift to reach his final destination in Burlington.

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