McCreary Co., Ky. schools, road closed due to chemical spill

McCreary Co., Ky. schools, road closed due to chemical spill

Posted:
More than 3,000 gallons spilled from the truck. More than 3,000 gallons spilled from the truck.
Highway 27 was closed between Highways 700 and 90 for more than twelve hours while crews cleaned up. Highway 27 was closed between Highways 700 and 90 for more than twelve hours while crews cleaned up.
"Some of the roads that we would have to detour the buses on was not suitable to move those children on," said EMA Director Rudy Young. "Some of the roads that we would have to detour the buses on was not suitable to move those children on," said EMA Director Rudy Young.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

WHITLEY CITY, Ky. (WATE/AP) - Schools in McCreary County, Ky. were forced to close Friday morning due to a chemical spill on U.S. Highway 27.

A tractor trailer overturned while making a routine delivery to a county water plant spilling gallons of sodium hydroxide. The accident occurred near the mile 14 marker of U.S. 27, near the Tennessee border.

"The right rear tire had got into one of the ditch lines as it was making the curve," said McCreary County EMA Director Rudy Young.

It initially caused a small leak in the semi's tank, but an accident during cleanup caused almost 3,000 more gallons of the hazardous material to spill, sending two workers to the hospital with serious burns.

Sodium hydroxide is an alkali that is used in a variety of commercial applications, including paper manufacturing and in drain cleaners. It is highly caustic and is also commonly called lye or caustic soda.

Residents living within a half mile were alerted to stay inside, but no evacuations were ordered.

Highway 27 was closed between Highways 700 and 90 for more than twelve hours while crews cleaned up.

The emergency management office encouraged the school district to cancel classes around 1 a.m. Friday.

"Some of the roads that we would have to detour the buses on was not suitable to move those children on," said Young.

The road was reopened around 3:25 p.m. Friday.

There is no word yet on the workers' conditions.

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