Overturned 18-wheeler causes evacuations - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Overturned 18-wheeler causes evacuations

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) -

Businesses evacuated and a road closed in Sulphur after a tank truck overturned at Beglis Parkway and East Burton which will likely remain closed until sometime tonight. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon when a tank truck overturned at the corner of East Burton and Highway 27 or Beglis Parkway.

 As a precaution, businesses in Fifth Wheel Plaza were evacuated and closed and East Burton closed between Beglis (Highway 27) and Smith Road. The driver of the truck apparently misjudged the turn as Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coats explains. "The driver of this John N. John truck was trying to turn into the parking lot of the Fifth Wheel Conoco parking lot and either lost eye contact with the ditch that he was turning against or I'm not sure exactly what happened, he turned into he driveway and his trailer caught the ditch and rolled over."

State police haz mat team came to evaluate the situation. Sergeant James Anderson says the concern stemmed from what the truck was hauling. "Once the vehicle overturned there was concern because it was carrying a molten resin. The molten resin was being transported at a temperature of approximately 360 degrees Fahrenheit, so we're going to be off loading that material onto another truck."

During the offloading, emergency officials felt it best to keep the area closed off though Anderson says there is no danger to the public. Though all businesses in the plaza were evacuated at last word only the service station remained closed. "As a precaution because if you make contact with this particular material it is a dangerous material if you make contact. However, there's no danger to the public in that it's not a vapor or anything that's going to escape and sicken individuals,"said Anderson.

The driver of the truck was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.  Police say they will try to have the area opened as soon as possible. The offloading is expected to continue into the night. No word as to whether the driver of the truck will be cited. The investigation continues.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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