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Hazardous gas leak cleared in Kenly

Posted July 16, 2008

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— Authorities evacuated several homes and businesses Wednesday morning after a truck leaked a hazardous gas at a nearby truck stop.

A tractor-trailer parked at the TA Truck Stop, on Truckstop Road off Interstate 95, was leaking silicon tetrafluoride – a colorless gas that has a very pungent odor similar to that of hydrogen chloride.

The chemical can cause serious respiratory problems, authorities said. Chemical-industry information indicated the main danger of the gas is burns to the skin or the respiratory tract if it is inhaled.

A faulty valve on the truck was repaired by 2 p.m., and homeowners and business owners were allowed to return.

The truck was traveling to Texas with 12,500 pounds of the gas. Silicon tetrafluoride reportedly is used in the chemical industry and in microelectronics.

Authorities said the gas created a vapor cloud around the tractor-trailer. Johnston officials called a regional hazardous materials team from Raleigh to assess the situation.

Authorities asked residents on J Howell Road, U.S. Highway 301 and Bay Valley Road to leave their homes. Officials set up a shelter at North Johnston Middle School.

About six homes were evacuated. Rickie Liles and his daughter, Sarah, 8, went to the shelter.

“We came to get some information and ended up staying,” Rickie Liles said.

Exit 106 off I-95 was closed, and officials asked people to avoid the area during the morning.

Crews took the truck driver, who was overcome by fumes, to Johnston Memorial Hospital. He was treated and released.

10 Comments

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  • gammasandi Jul 16, 2008

    so after all is said and done and finally hearing from my loved one that he is ok(even after working since 8am yesterday only to work HAZMAT until now)I ask you folks to just walk a mile in the shoes of public servants and their families-what could have been fatal was faced head-on by the local and regional teams-a little prayer rather than a smart-aleck remark would really do our spirits good at a time like this

  • jmwoodard90 Jul 16, 2008

    I am a big supported of Kenly fire department & EMS and I know these guys are doing an excellent job!

  • Love my boys Jul 16, 2008

    Hope everyone is safe and this situation is cleared up quickly!

  • CestLaVie Jul 16, 2008

    I know about Kenly; my daughter used to live there. I live in Selma.

    I also know about the dangers of being an EMS in these situations, even though I don't know about "strategizing".

    Just thought it was a poor picture of a bad situation.

  • DougWare.NET Jul 16, 2008

    I served with Kenly EMS (now part of Johnston County Emergency Services) for over 8 years. Kenly is a very very small town and doesn't have the resources to deal with this type of emergency. They have basic HAZMAT training and equipment, which means identifying threats, saving people who are in immediate danger and calling for help from the HazMat team.

    Give them a break, if only the driver was affected...someone responded correctly!

    I also lived at the far end of "J Howell Road" about 2-3 miles from where this happened.

  • gammasandi Jul 16, 2008

    then perhaps momof3 you might not wish to call them when you have an emergency-"do it yourself" may be your best bet

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jul 16, 2008

    "Kenly businesses, homes evacuated after hazardous gas leak"

    This is what happens after a Bean Supper down at the local church.

  • momof3inNC Jul 16, 2008

    They usually are just standing around...lol....Hope they get it cleared up, my husband has to go back to Kenly to do for a job!!!

  • gammasandi Jul 16, 2008

    Well,I doubt that they are "wondering" what to do-have you ever heard of strategizing? I have a loved on the scene and pray for his safety as well as for all those involved.

  • CestLaVie Jul 16, 2008

    The picture looks like they're standing around, wondering what to do next.

    Hope the driver pulls through this OK.