(WGRV) A tanker hauling around 8,500 of gasoline overturned early this morning on Round Knob Road, and emergency responders remain on the scene to figure out how to off-load the fuel.
The tanker was trying to negotiate a sharp turn in the 900 block of Round Knob Road around 5:45 AM, when the rear tandem wheels slid off the roadway. The loaded tanker then overturned and slid entirely off the road, but remained connected to the cab. While the tanker portion came to rest nearly upside down, no fuel had spilled from the tanker itself. Driver Joshua Mason was not injured, and only a small amount of diesel fuel spilled from the tanks on the cab of the truck.
Greeneville Fire Chief Alan Shipley said that HazMat responders on the scene would be working to stabilize the tanker before trying to offload the fuel. Environmental precautions would have to be taken to contain the fuel if any spills happened while unloading the fuel. In addition, there is a high risk of fire during that process.
EMA Director Bill Brown said that the tanker, owned by Rogers Petroleum from Morristown, might have to be drilled into in order to offload the fuel.
Traffic on Round Knob Road is closed beyond the Walter’s Road intersection. Two homes in the area have been evacuated as a precaution. In addition to the risk of fire, emergency responders have also had to deal with a nest of wasps that were disturbed in the area. EMS was also called to the scene, but not for any injuries in the accident. A motorists caught in the road blockage was in labor and trying to get to the hospital.
Agencies that have responded include Camp Creek, Caney Branch, Tusculum, Town of Mosheim, and Orebank Volunteer Fire Departments, along with Greeneville Fire Department, Greene County HazMat, and the Debusk Volunteer Fire Department Rehab Unit. Brown said that Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Environment and Conservation are also on the scene. Brown said that wreckers from Casper’s Wrecker Service are currently being used to stabilize the tanker, and that the offloading will be done by Rogers Petroleum and American Environmental Cleanup.
Brown expected the process to take several hours, well up into the night.