Hazardous material identified and contained in Loudon Co.

Multiple crews were responding to an unknown hazardous material leak Thursday, according to officials with the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office.
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 4:54 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 17, 2023 at 11:14 AM EDT
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LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WVLT) - Multiple crews responded to a hazardous leak Thursday, according to officials with the Loudon Co. Sheriff’s Office.

First responders were at the TA Truck Stop on Watt Road around 3:13 p.m., where a semi-truck was leaking an unknown hazardous material which was later identified as peroxyzxetic acid. The acid is used to make surface cleaner and sanitizer, but in the concentrated form it is highly corrosive and unstable according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Drivers on I-40 called in to 9-1-1 complaining of eye and skin irritation. The driver of the truck called in to dispatch and told them where they were.

The TA Truck Stop evacuated their building and shut down for the evening as a safety precaution, according to Loudon Co. Chief Deputy Zac Frye.

Loudon Co. Mayor Buddy Bradshaw said the the situation ended as a best-case scenario and it was due in large part to the multi-agency response.

“This could’ve been a whole lot of a worse situation than we had,” Bradshaw said. “Hats off and certainly grateful for the many agencies that responded, both state, Loudon County and Knox County.”

Two drivers who were following behind the truck went to the hospital to be treated for eye irritation, according to officials with the Loudon Co. Sheriff’s Office.

Officials with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Tennessee Highway Patrol asked the Tennessee Department of Transportation to be prepared to close parts of I-40 and I-75 as the area was within a potential contamination zone, according to TDOT Spokesman Mark Nagi.

“TDOT forces have been released from this area with the exception of one Knox County crew that brought sand to the site,” Nagi said.

The driver of the truck stayed and was cooperating with law enforcement.


Posted by Loudon County Sheriff's Office, TN. on Thursday, March 16, 2023