Eastbound Middlebrook Pike in Knoxville reopens after fuel spill

Eastbound Middlebrook Pike in Knoxville reopens after fuel spill

Posted:
Both eastbound lanes of Middlebrook Pike at Knott Road were closed Tuesday morning due to an overturned tanker truck spilling fuel. Both eastbound lanes of Middlebrook Pike at Knott Road were closed Tuesday morning due to an overturned tanker truck spilling fuel.
Police say the tanker carrying 3,400 gallons of fuel dislodged from the truck and overturned in the eastbound lanes. (source: Knoxville Fire Department) Police say the tanker carrying 3,400 gallons of fuel dislodged from the truck and overturned in the eastbound lanes. (source: Knoxville Fire Department)
Fuel being offloaded from the tanker (source: Knoxville Fire Department) Fuel being offloaded from the tanker (source: Knoxville Fire Department)
Booms were placed to capture the runoff at several locations. (source: Knoxville Fire Department) Booms were placed to capture the runoff at several locations. (source: Knoxville Fire Department)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Both eastbound lanes of South Middlebrook Pike at Weisgarber Road were closed Tuesday morning due to an overturned tanker truck spilling fuel.

Traffic was diverted through the area until the fuel was cleaned up. Middlebrook Pike reopened around 4:15 p.m., but Knott Road will remain closed for several more hours.

The spill was reported around 10:40 a.m. Tuesday Police say the tanker dislodged from the truck and overturned in the eastbound lanes near Knott Road.

"The tanker dropped down to the pavement, that seems where the initial rupture came from when the tanker dropped, "said Knoxville Fire Department spokesperson D.J. Corcoran.

Corcoran said 3,400 gallons of fuel spilled from the truck, which holds 8,400 gallons.

Corcoran said the fuel made its way into storm drains leading into Third Creek. He suspects the heavy rain helped to accelerate the flow down the creek.

Authorities estimated 2,800 gallons of the spilled 3,400 gallons got into the storm drain system. The storm drains feed into Third Creek, which then runs into Fort Loudoun Lake.

Booms were placed to capture the runoff at Ed Shouse and Middlebrook, Middlebrook at Lonas, Sutherland at Third Creek, and Concord at Third Creek. These booms will capture any gasoline runoff and prevent fuel from entering the Tennessee River.

David Hagerman, stormwater engineer with Knoxville, said it appears emergency workers got ahead of the gasoline as it made its way along Third Creek.

Hagerman said the trucking company responsible for the spill will pay for the cleanup costs and any materials used by the city.

Hagerman said it was too early to tell how much it would cost.

Twenty employees from Johnstone Supply and four employees from Southern Kitchen were sheltered in place because their only routes for leaving would take them directly through the spill area.

Those employees spent nearly a full work day without being able to leave.

"We've had a couple people had to walk to be picked up by someone for doctor's appointments, and of course we haven't had a single costumer come here all day, so that's been very disruptive for business," said Todd Cramer, president and owner of Johnstone Supply.

Officials say they began offloading fuel Tuesday afternoon from the damaged tanker into another tanker to be safely hauled away. Once offloaded, a wrecker was called to haul away the damaged tanker.

There are no reports of injuries in the crash.

The driver has been identified as William Sandefur, 58, of Harrogate. The truck belonged to Lee Oil Company in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will inspect the truck and determine if any citations should be issued.

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