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Overturned tanker truck halts traffic for hours on U.S. 95 at Decatur Boulevard

Tanker truck overturned US 95.PNG
Tanker truck overturned.PNG
Posted at 6:13 AM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 20:56:46-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas authorities responded to an early morning crash on Wednesday that involved a tanker truck.

The Nevada Highway Patrol says the truck overturned on U.S. 95 at Decatur Boulevard before 5 a.m. with traffic being diverted at the scene.

All lanes of traffic were closed due to the overturned truck with drivers being pushed off the highway starting at Rancho Drive for those traveling south and Jones Boulevard for those traveling north on U.S. 95.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Las Vegas Fire and Rescue units were also assisting with the incident as fuel is on the roadway from the overturned truck.

CURRENT LAS VEGAS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS

Authorities say the road closures were going to last for several hours.

Crews were able to clean up the fuel spill and get the truck upright before 1 p.m. along with reopening northbound travel lanes.

A view from the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada traffic cameras on U.S. 95 near Rancho Drive showed all travel lanes reopened just after 2 p.m.

While there were no injuries, the biggest concern was the hazardous materials that spilled, which could have led to devastating results.

"It’s not the gasoline that burns. It’s the vapors from the gasoline that burn," explained Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Timothy R. Szymanski. "Because that truck is empty and has residual gasoline in it, it will be extremely flammable. A flash fire is possible. It would be very fast and very hot."

13 Action News spoke with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy and they told us this spill wouldn’t impact our gas supply or prices. Most of the gas was saved by transferring it to another tanker.

"It’s definitely a hazardous material and that’s a concern. We have crews who specialize in this sort of clean-up," said Southern Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Travis Smaka. "They have been doing a good job this morning trying to get everything cleaned up safely. Gasoline is very combustible so we had to take safety measures and close the U.S. 95 in both directions."

Neither driver involved was taken to the hospital and authorities say both are okay. The BMW did have some damage.

"I haven’t gotten a close look at it but it did require a tow truck to remove it from the scene," Smaka said.

Crews have to take their time when offloading gas to another tanker. It’s not a process that you can rush.

Between the offloading, the towing and the cleanup, the crash scene took more than eight hours to clear.