Semitrailer rolls over on I-70 East in Columbia

Friday, June 28, 2013 | 12:24 p.m. CDT; updated 2:25 p.m. CDT, Friday, June 28, 2013

COLUMBIA — A semitrailer carrying anhydrous ammonia rolled over Friday morning on Interstate 70 East near the 128 mile marker in Columbia.

The tank containing the chemical was intact and none had spilled, according to a release from the Columbia Fire Department. The department's hazardous materials truck was sent to the accident to assess the situation but found the tank was OK. The department sent six units in all.

Anhydrous ammonia is a nitrogen fertilizer that is stored and kept under high pressure, according to the release. The chemical can cause severe chemical burns.

The driver of the truck had serious but non-life threatening injuries, according to the release. Fire crews had to use the Jaws of Life to remove the driver because of damage to the truck's cab. The driver was taken to University Hospital.

Both eastbound lanes of I-70 were closed for almost 30 minutes while crews removed the driver of the truck, according to the release. Crews then reopened one eastbound lane. MFA Oil, which owns the truck, worked to remove the anhydrous ammonia from the tanker. Both lanes reopened about 12:20 p.m. Friday.

The crash occurred when traffic in front of the semitrailer stopped abruptly, according to a release from the Columbia Police Department. The semitrailer rolled over when the driver veered into the median to avoid a crash.

Intoxication or excessive speeding are not believed to have been factors in the crash, according to the release.

Supervising editor is Hannah Wiese. 

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