KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — All lanes of southbound I-81 in Greene County have reopened after being closed for several hours due to a tractor-trailer truck carrying thousands of pounds of batteries overturned Thursday morning.

The left lane Southbound I-81 at mile marker 19 in Greene County was blocked due to the crash. A Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesperson said a HAZMAT company was called to assist with the cleanup of the truck’s cargo, 43,000 pounds of wet cell batteries.

The right lane of I-81 S remained open. Crews worked to clear the scene for several hours and rerouted some drivers off the southbound interstate at Exit 23 to 11-E through Bulls Gap.

The TDOT SmartWay Traffic Map indicated heavy traffic buildup in the area of the Andrew Johnson Highway exit.

According to a report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the truck was traveling south on I-81 at 5 a.m. when it ran off the road and traveled up an embankment. The vehicle then turned back counterclockwise as it attempted to re-enter the roadway.

While re-entering the roadway, the tractor-trailer rolled on its side and hit a guard rail, coming to a rest laying across the southbound lanes.

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