Rollover accident Wednesday night spills battery acid on Interstate 70

Thursday, July 26, 2012 | 11:52 a.m. CDT; updated 4:14 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 26, 2012

COLUMBIA — A cargo van carrying old automotive batteries rolled over Wednesday night in Columbia, closing one lane of eastbound Interstate 70 near mile marker 132.

The Columbia Fire Department responded to the accident at 6:44 p.m., according to a news release. Crews reported the driver was out of the vehicle and uninjured, but there was a liquid leaking from cargo area.

The source of the leak was battery acid from 60 to 90 of the batteries, which were being transported to St. Louis for recycling. 

Battalion Chief James Weaver said the department’s HazMat truck was called to the scene and used an absorbent powder to clean up the battery acid. The powder changed the pH balance of the spilled material, neutralizing it, he said.

A Department of Natural Resources team from Jefferson City and Environmental Response, a clean-up contractor from St. Louis, were also dispatched in response to the spill, the release stated.

Weaver said the second lane did not reopen until approximately 9:30 p.m., when the van was finally removed from the roadway. Traffic was backed up all the way to Columbia during that time, he said.

Supervising editor is Dan Burley.

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Michael Williams July 26, 2012 | 5:18 p.m.

"...and used an absorbent powder to clean up the battery acid. The powder changed the pH balance of the spilled material, neutralizing it..."

Here's hoping he didn't use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) that caused fizzing all over the place.

We'd have a full-blown environmental panic on our hands.

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