Truck with hazardous material crashes on I-90 near Cle Elum


CLE ELUM, Wash. (AP) — A semitrailer carrying hazardous material crashed on Interstate 90 in central Washington state, killing the driver, sending fumes into the air and causing some residences to be temporarily evacuated.

Washington State Patrol Trooper John Bryant says hazmat crews plugged a vent in a 1,000-gallon tank that punctured in the crash and released anhydrous ammonia, a gas widely used on farms as nitrogen fertilizer.

Eastbound lanes of I-90 between Cle Elum and Ellensburg re-opened to traffic in the afternoon while westbound lanes re-opened at 8 p.m. Cle Elum is about 75 miles southeast of Seattle.

Bryant says the truck was heading west with four tanks of anhydrous ammonia Wednesday morning when the driver apparently lost control, veered into the median and rolled over.

One of the tanks punctured. The crash ignited a blaze that firefighters quickly put out.

Bryant says hazmat crews and others cleared the scene. One trooper was treated and released from a local hospital for possible exposure to the chemical.

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