UPDATE: Semi Overturns & Spills Chemicals; Route 35 Back Open

By: Anna Baxter, Andrew Colegrove, Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Anna Baxter, Andrew Colegrove, Jennifer Rizzi Email
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Impact on Students Returning Home from School

PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The accident meant hundreds of students got home later than planned Friday afternoon, as bus routes changed to keep students safe.

All of the changes kept the school board very busy, planning new routes and keeping everyone informed. The district sent a message out to parents, faculty and staff via email and phone, letting them know that students were not in any danger after the accident on Route 35, but that there would likely be delays in getting them home.

Some parents and grandparents showed up to the schools to pick children up Friday so they wouldn't have to wait for hours on delayed buses. One grandmother said her daughter and son-in-law received the message while they were at work and asked her to come pick up the kids.

"There had been some kind of a wreck or a spill on 35, where they live, so for us to pick them up early, check them out," Linda Moore said.

One of her grandchildren, Jake Cox, is an eighth-grader at Winfield Middle School. That school typically lets out at 3:18 p.m. The schools said they kept everyone for a full day, rather than sending them home early.

The principal of Winfield Middle School said the school board sent out the message to parents and to his faculty and staff to keep them aware of the situation.

"Just to notify the parents that there'd be an accident, that their children were safe, that they would be late arriving due to the buses having to take an alternate route," principal Gary Cook said of the message.

For students who live in Buffalo and Eleanor, rather than Winfield, the delays were expected to be shorter because they live on the Route 62 side of the Kanawha River. The buses were able to bypass the accident without traveling across the bridge.

UPDATE 5/11/13 @ 6:30 a.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Route 35 is back open Saturday morning following a chemical spill caused by a crash, Friday morning.

911 dispatchers say all lanes are now open and traffic is moving as normal.



UPDATE 5/10/13 @ 9:45 p.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It could be as late as 7:30 a.m. Saturday or after before U.S. 35 reopens near the site of a chemical spill involving a tractor-trailer, crews at the scene say.

Only four of 80, 50-gallon drums of the chemical Glutaraldehyde had been processed as of late Friday night. Crews said factors, including the weather and heavy damage to many of the barrels, were slowing the cleanup.

The accident happened about 10 a.m. Friday at the intersection near the Buffalo Bridge.

The truck had just left a distribution point in Nitro when it overturned on its way to Columbus, Ohio. It was hauling about 80, 50-gallon drums of Glutaraldehyde. The chemical was made at Dow's UCC West Virginia Operations site in South Charleston.

Route 35 is closed about 3 miles from Staves Branch Road to the Mason County line. Drivers are being turned around at Hurricane Branch Road. According to Mason County 911, Route 62 is closed to commercial traffic, but regular cars and trucks can travel on the road.

Meanwhile, residents were dealing with the disruption to their lives -- with most returning back to normal.

For Katie and Betty Fellure, it felt good to be back home Friday night.

“They asked us to leave because of the chemicals,” Betty said.

The mother and her daughter-in-law came back to Fraziers Bottom Friday night after being told earlier it wasn’t safe to stay in their houses.

“It’s frustrating to be taken away from your home,” Katie said. “A lot of times the road is shut down, and you have to linger somewhere until you can get home.”

Sheriff’s deputies were still blocking off part of their neighborhood, keeping watch as crews continue cleaning up. Deputies say about five families were forced from their homes.

“I stayed at work as long as I could, but my dog was in the house all day long so I was very concerned about her safety,” Katie said.

Betty says the stretch of road is no stranger to accidents – many more tragic and serious.

“I was just more angry than anything else, because this doesn’t have to happen,” she said. “It’s the design of this road and the intersection up here.”

County 911 officials say anyone who was evacuated had been permitted to return to their homes by Friday night.

We continue to have a crew at the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE @ 3:30 p.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Major delays continue for anyone trying to drive Route 35, and the mess won't be cleaned up anytime soon.

Route 35 is expected to be closed through at least 10 p.m. Friday while crews work to clean up a chemical spilled by an overturned semi truck.

The accident happened about 10 a.m. at the intersection near the Buffalo Bridge.

The truck had just left a distribution point in Nitro when it overturned on its way to Columbus, Ohio hauling about 80, 50-gallon drums of Glutaraldehyde. The chemical was made at Dow's UCC West Virginia Operations site in South Charleston.

Route 35 is closed about three miles from Staves Branch Road to the Mason County line. Walker says the road will be closed at least six to eight hours. Drivers are being turned around at Hurricane Branch Road. According to Mason County 911, Route 62 is closed to commercial traffic but regular cars and trucks can travel on the road.

According to documents obtained by WSAZ.com, DOW is reporting to emergency officials that Glutaraldehyde is a clear liquid and has a fruity smell. The chemical can cause severe eye and skin burns and may cause an allergic skin reaction and respiratory tract irritation, according to the document.

We have crews in Putnam County. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

We will have live team coverage tonight at 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m.



UPDATE @ 1:54 p.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Crews are continuing to work to upright a semi that has overturned spilling chemicals and causing the evacuation of about a dozen homes.

According to Carrie Bly with the West Virginia Department of Transportation, a crane is being brought in to help upright the semi.

Once the semi has been lifted, hazmat crews will suit up and assess how many barrels are leaking.

According to Bly, the truck was hauling about 80, 50-gallon drums of Glutaraldehyde.

Brent Walker with the Division of Highways tells WSAZ.com 300 gallons of diesel leaked from the truck and some of the chemical has also spilled out on the road.

According to documents obtained by WSAZ.com, DOW is reporting to emergency officials that Glutaraldehyde is a clear liquid and has a fruity smell. The chemical can cause severe eye and skin burns and may cause an allergic skin reaction and respiratory tract irritation, according to the document.

Route 35 is closed about three miles from Staves Branch Road to the Mason County line. Walker says the road will be closed at least six to eight hours.

Drivers are being turned around at Hurricane Branch Road.

According to Mason County 911, Route 62 is closed to commercial traffic but regular cars and trucks can travel on the road.

A spokesperson with Dow reports the semi from UCC West Virginia Operations, its site in South Charleston, overturned on its way to Columbus, Ohio. According to the release, Bridge Terminal Transport owns the truck.

Trish Thompson, Dow Public Affairs Manager, says "Dow emergency response is supporting the emergency response professionals at the scene."

We have crews in Putnam County. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

We will have live team coverage tonight at 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m.



UPDATE @ 12:30 p.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Nearly a dozen homes have been evacuated after a tractor trailer carrying a chemical has overturned in Putnam County.

The accident happened about 10 a.m. near the Buffalo Bridge. Director of Putnam County 911 Frank Chapman tells WSAZ.com a semi box truck overturned near the bridge. The truck was hauling containers of Glutaraldehyde from the Formaldehyde family.

Putnam County 911 Dispatchers tell WSAZ.com homes in the immediate area of the spill have been evacuated from the area. This has affected 10-15 homes. We're told the evacuations were issued because the chemical is in the air and the wind is blowing.

Brent Walker with the Division of Highways tells WSAZ.com 300 gallons of diesel leaked from the truck and some of the chemical has also spilled out on the road.

A company from Ripley is coming to the scene to clean up the spill.

Route 35 is closed about three miles from Staves Branch Road to the Mason County line. Walker says the road will be closed at least six to eight hours.

Drivers are being turned around at Hurricane Branch Road.

Several crews from Winfield, Buffalo, Eleanor and Nitro are on the scene helping with the situation.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation tells WSAZ.com, the road will be closed for six to eight hours. Route 817 is also closed in the area.

According to documents obtained by WSAZ.com, DOW is reporting to emergency officials that Glutaraldehyde is a clear liquid and has a fruity smell. The chemical can cause severe eye and skin burns and may cause an allergic skin reaction and respiratory tract irritation, according to the document.

Schools in the area are operating as usual. A spokesperson with Putnam County Schools tells WSAZ.com the school system is monitoring the situation. The schools may have to reroute some of the buses to get kids home after school.

We have a crew in Putnam County. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 5/10/13 @ Noon
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A tractor trailer carrying containers of chemicals has overturned causing traffic issues in Putnam County.

The accident happened about 10 a.m. near the Buffalo Bridge.

Director of Putnam County 911 Frank Chapman tells WSAZ.com a semi box truck overturned near the bridge. The truck was hauling containers of Glutaraldehyde from the Formaldehyde family.

Dow is the chemical originator, according to Chapman.

According to Wikipedia, Glutaraldehyde is an organic compound. It is a pungent colorless oily liquid and used to disinfect medical and dental equipment.

Brent Walker with the Division of Highways tells WSAZ.com 300 gallons of diesel leaked from the truck and some of the chemical has also spilled out on the road.

A company from Ripley is coming to the scene to clean up the spill.

No evacuations or a shelter in place have been issued, but this is causing a traffic tie-up for drivers in the area.

Route 35 is closed about three miles from Staves Branch Road to the Mason County line. Walker says the road will be closed at least six to eight hours.

Drivers are being turned around at Hurricane Branch Road.

Route 62 is also closed across the river and it's also expected to be closed for several hours.

Several crews from Winfield, Buffalo, Eleanor and Nitro are on the scene helping with the situation.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation tells WSAZ.com, the road will be closed for six to eight hours.

We have a crew in Putnam County. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE @11:20 a.m.
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- 911 Dispatchers tell WSAZ.com the truck that overturned along Route 35 in Putnam County was carrying some type of chemical.

The truck overturned near the Buffalo Bridge about 10 a.m. near the Buffalo Bridge. Route 35 is closed in both directors near the bridge.

It's unclear if any of the chemical has leaked out of the tank. However,
diesel from the truck has leaked out on the road.

Right now, hazmat and emergency crews are on the scene.

Dispatchers tell WSAZ.com, they are not sure what type of chemical the truck was carrying.

No one was hurt in the accident.

We have a crew in Putnam County. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Route 35 is closed in both directions in Putnam County after a tractor trailer overturned.

The accident happened about 10 a.m. near the Buffalo Bridge.

Putnam County 911 Dispatchers tell WSAZ.com the truck is leaking diesel on the road. The road is expected to be closed for a while.

No one was hurt in the accident.

We have a crew headed to the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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