All lanes open after overturned tractor-trailer, hazmat situation shuts down I-40 near Newport
All lanes are now open on I-40 near Newport after a tractor-trailer overturned.
COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - All lanes of I-40 have been reopened after an overturned tractor-trailer closed the entire interstate near Newport and prompted a “hazmat situation,” according to Tennessee Department of Transportation official Mark Nagi.
TDOT crews relocated the tanker to the parking lot of the rest area. Nagi said the rest area will be closed as the material is transferred to another tanker.
The incident occurred at mile marker 432 near Newport, and the Newport Police Department asked drivers to avoid the area if possible. In the meantime, officials are redirecting traffic at exits 424 and 431.
The tanker was carrying a substance known as autofroth, which is plastic in its liquid form, according to Cocke County Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Esway. The liquid will react negatively to water. Emergency response teams evaluated the need for an evacuation but did not execute one under the circumstances.
The tanker leaked from the seals on the container, but crews contained the spill using water, which is an effective clearing method when autofroth is in its combusted state.
“It was a long, hot, aggravating day for lots of folks. Just remember that no life was lost, and for that we are all grateful,” Esway said.
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