Fuel Tanker Overturns In Alabama, Shutting Down Major Highway

A fuel tanker overturns in Birmingham, Alabama, closing multiple lanes of the busy Interstate 65 while crews worked to clean up the mess.

The fuel tanker was traveling in I-65 on Friday evening when it crashed, overturning and spilling fuel onto the highway. The tanker, owned by Georgia-based Spirit Express LLC, was carrying about 8,500 gallons of fuel when it suffered what officials called “a small rupture.”

At first all northbound and southbound lanes of the highway had to be closed while crews worked to clean up the mess, but by Saturday morning the southbound lanes had re-opened, The Associated Press reported.

The driver of the fuel tanker that overturns was taken to UAB hospital, Birmingham Fire Marshall C.W. Mardis said. A woman in another vehicle was also injured in the accident, and as of Saturday there was no update on the conditions of those injured.

“Right now, we’re in the process of trying to stop the leak and clean up the fuel,” Mardis told AL.com after the spill.

In total there were nine units that responded to the fuel tanker overturning. Birmingham Fire and Rescue sent five engine companies, two Hazmat units, and two decontamination units to the scene to help deal with the spill. ALDOT, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, and the Emergency Management Agency were also called to the scene.

After the fuel tanker overturns, some motorists are instructed by police to leave their cars and evacuate from the hazardous spill. There was no word yet on when officials would allow them to return to retrieve their cars.