HOUSTON – An accident involving an overturned tanker truck caused the total closure of Interstate 10 east of Houston on Wednesday morning.
The crash could leave the interstate shut down in both directions for a couple days. The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office says the accident could be cleaned up sometime between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Wednesday.
Authorities in Jefferson County say the truck wrecked at mile marker 833 between Winnie and FM 365, about 60 miles east of Houston. It was first reported around 7 a.m.
Hazmat was called in after the tanker spilled ethanol all over the roadway. Residents within a two mile radius were asked to evacuate or shelter-in-place along with a nearby high school.
The Texas Department of Public Safety says a preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the truck fell asleep behind the wheel and left the roadway, wrecking the truck. He was taken to Baptist Hospital in Beaumont for laceration injuries and was now released. No other vehicles were involved in the incident.
Officials in Jefferson County are working on the cleanup and investigation, but a timeline for the interstate reopening has not been announced. Once crews can stop the leak, they’ll transfer the remaining ethanol into another tanker.
State troopers say the last time an accident like this occurred, it took three days to clean up.
Check back for updates to this developing story.
FOX 26 Web Producer John Perera contributed to this story