Hazardous spill closes west bank road

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2011



LAPLACE – An early morning crash Thursday involving an 18-wheeler carrying hazardous materials used for pool cleaning caused the closure of Louisiana 3127 in St. John the Baptist Parish for most of the day, according to a release from State Police.

The accident, which occurred just after 5:30 a.m., forced the closure of the highway between Louisiana 640 and the Veterans Memorial Bridge for more than 12 hours Thursday, said State Police spokesman Bryan Zeringue.

The driver of the truck, whose name was not released, was taken to LSU Interim Hospital in New Orleans with moderate injuries.

A responding deputy with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office was also hospitalized after being overcome by the fumes from the chemical. Capt. Dane Clement, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said the deputy was taken to St. James Parish Hospital in Lutcher, where he was treated and released.

Zeringue said the spill involved about five drums of hydrochloric acid. He said about 55 gallons of the material were spilled across the roadway in the accident.

Zeringue said the spill occurred in a rural area of St. John Parish and posed no threat to surrounding residential areas. No evacuations were ordered. He said a hazardous materials team was sent to the area to contain and clean up the spill.

Authorities had not been able to get close enough to the truck to determine what caused the accident, but Zeringue said the driver had indicated that one of the tires on the truck could have failed.

The closure caused serious delays on Louisiana 18 throughout St. John Parish, which was an alternate route.