I-57 Opens After Chemical Truck Overturns - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Williamson County, IL

I-57 Opens After Chemical Truck Overturns

I-57 Opens After Chemical Truck Overturns
By: Carly O'Keefe

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Il. -- All lanes of Interstate 57 in Williamson County are open after a 16-hour closure. A tanker truck carrying a chemical known as ethyl acetate overturned Wednesday night on I-57 between the Highway 13 and Highway 148 exits. Ethyl acetate is a flammable chemical used in artificial fruit flavors and a solvent in manufacturing.

A hazardous materials crew from Memphis responded to help transfer the chemical from the overturned tanker into an undamaged tanker. The tanker did not leak, but because the chemical is potentially dangerous, no one but emergency crews were allowed within a half-mile of the crash scene.

Drivers were detoured by way of highways 148 and 13. North and southbound lanes trying to exit the interstate were backed up for miles bumper to bumper. That frustrated many drivers like Michell Morales who was stuck in traffic for two hours while en route from Paducah to Madison, Wisconsin.

"We've been on the road since 10:00 to go about 50 miles, and it's been the worst experience I've ever had. Driving back and forth to Wisconsin doesn't bother me one bit, but sitting in that traffic, not knowing why you're there, it's so aggravating," said Morales.

Interstate 57 shut down around 10 p.m. Wednesday and didn't re-open until right around 2 p.m. Thursday.

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