I-10 remains closed due to overturned butane truck

By Tiffany Blackmon - bio | email

WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC)-  Interstate 10 remains closed this morning between Lake Charles and Westlake after an 18-wheeler carrying butane overturned.  The truck started leaking gas, forcing the closure of the interstate.

Crews have successfully removed the gas and are now working on uprighting the truck.  State Police hope to reopen I-10 from Enterprise Boulevard to PPG drive sometime later this morning.  East and westbound traffic on I-10 is being detoured onto I-210.

Officials say the driver of the big rig was headed west bound into Westlake Tuesday morning. They speculate the driver was taking the exit too fast, and lost control. The truck rolled over onto its side, causing the propane tank to rupture and leak gas onto the interstate.

Rosa Gonzalez was one of the many motorist stuck in the traffic, before officials closed the interstate. "We're going to El Paso, Texas for Thanksgiving," she stated.

Fellow motorist Annatte Boutte, was headed for her Thanksgiving destination. "Galveston, for Thanksgiving with my sister," she said.

However, both Gonzalez and Boutte's holiday plans hit a road block when the big rig overturned.

Captain Michael Leonards with the State Police stated, "The vehicle was loaded [with gas]. It had approximately 1/3 of the product left in it. There is a leak, it is evaporating as we speak."

Due to light winds, gas can have a tendency to collect in low lying areas, and because the interstate is a low lying area, officials have closed it until the can figure out a way to safely remove the excess gas from the big rig.

"They can either try to off load it, or attempt to flair the product or just burn it off using a series of piping and such," Leonards said.

Officials estimate the cleaning process to take anywhere from eight to twelve hours, and they advise anyone planning to travel on the closed portion of I-10 to find an alternate route, such as I-210.

They also advise any holiday travelers to plan accordingly.

"Just leave a little bit earlier," Leonards said.

While the accident did put the breaks on some holiday travels, motorist were still able to find the silver lining.

Gonazlez said, "Just got to wait. Good thing is, we're all still here you know."

Boutte stated, "You know what? You have to be patient because things happen, and thank God we're safe."

Officials say the driver of the 18-wheeler is fine. They also decided to flair the excess gas from the truck.

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