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Tractor-trailer overturns, spills chemicals in Duplin County

Posted February 5, 2010

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— Hazardous materials crews were called to clean up at a site where a tractor-trailer overturned and spilled chemicals on N.C. Highway 403 in Duplin County Friday morning, according to the state Highway Patrol.

Troopers said the driver, Mike Noriago, 52, of Vanceboro, lost control of his vehicle and over-corrected, sending the tractor-trailer off the road near North Duplin High School in Mount Olive around 7:45 a.m.

Tractor-trailer wreck causes hazmat spill Tractor-trailer wreck causes hazmat spill

The New Bern-based Amero Chem truck was carrying two 330-gallon barrels of hypochlorite solution and sodium hydroxide for delivery to three water-treatment plants. At least one barrel cracked and leaked, but authorities weren't sure how much of the chemicals leaked.

Haz-mat crews from Wilmington responded to the spill. Clean-up took most of the afternoon.

Noriago was knocked unconscious for a while and suffered a gash on his head, troopers said. He was treated at a local hospital.

Troopers said they did not know what caused him to lose control of the vehicle and it's still unclear if he will face charges. It was rainy, and the road was slick when the wreck occurred, they said.

Authorities set up an 800-yard perimeter around the wreck scene, forcing six people to leave their homes. The high school did not have to be evacuated. Troopers described those as standard precautions.

Troopers said the chemicals aren't harmful, except in large amounts, and are commonly used in swimming pools. Hypochlorite solution is commonly known as bleach and is commonly mixed with sodium hydroxide, or lye. In concentrated forms, both chemicals can cause chemical burns and eye damage.


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  • scientistjo Feb 5, 2010

    "Radioactive material has a half-life" -cantstandgoloanymore

    Hundreds of thousands of years and the nuclear radioactive material is HALF as radioactive.

    Also, most nuclear waste hasn't been transported anywhere. It's sitting in the buildings where it was produced. Where do you think they're transporting this? Please let me know where it's going.

  • Chapel Hill Conservative Feb 5, 2010

    nanasix: If we can put a man on the moon surely they can come up with safer shipping containers.

    How much are you willing to pay for a gallon of bleach?

  • Nunya123 Feb 5, 2010

    Since the scare tactic you are trying to use is completely baseless (based on 50 years of high level nuclear waste transport without a single release), it begs to ask "what is your point". If you really want something to worry about, try the 48 tons of mercury released into the air by the coal plants here in the US every year. Radioactive material has a half-life, mercury is always mercury.

  • nanasix Feb 5, 2010

    Why are these dangerous chemicals allowed on our roadways? Wouldn't it be a lot safer to transport by train? Like the chemical issue in Morehead City recently, I can't understand why safer measures aren't taken to protect our people and land. They are shipped in containers that can easily be destroyed/damaged allowing spills. If we can put a man on the moon surely they can come up with safer shipping containers.

  • scientistjo Feb 5, 2010

    I may have made an anti-nuke comment, but it wasn't pointless. Why not? Because no matter what humans work with, there will be errors and spills. Food plants explode, oil and hazmats spill. It would only be a matter of time before a leak occurred (no matter how "awesome" these nuke containers are).

    Second, you cannot comment on another's intelligence based on one comment here. I wanted to give people something to think about in terms of our ability to have "safe" nuclear waste, and instead you chose to attack my intelligence.

  • Chapel Hill Conservative Feb 5, 2010

    cantstandgoloanymore: "Just another pointless anti-nuke comment or really showing your lack of intelligence?"

    Both. But if I had to pick just one, I'd have to go with the second option. I remember that test collision you're speaking of. The nuclear waste container was hit head on by a speeding train and came out totally intact. The train was destroyed. I can only imagine that "nuclear waste container" technology has improved quite a bit since then. But even if it hasn't progressed one bit since that real world test years ago, I still wouldn't think twice about them driving it by my house.

  • Iworkforaliving Feb 5, 2010

    imagine if it was an alien spaceship with it's planet-destroying death ray armed and ready to fire and it flipped over on the same road!?!?
    Sounds silly don't it? Then why say it?

  • Whatever Geez Feb 5, 2010

    theres nothing but a little bit of rain in Duplin County and it hasn't rained that much and yeah, they pretty much run the highway, LOL they are HUGE but it doesn't mean they dont care for others. Have you ever driven an 18-wheeler?

  • Nunya123 Feb 5, 2010

    scientistjo - it would have been in a cask that could have easily been able to withstand this kind of accident (or one much more severe like getting hit by a train at 100mph). What is your point? Just another pointless anti-nuke comment or really showing your lack of intelligence?

  • scientistjo Feb 5, 2010

    Imagine if this was nuclear waste from all those plants people want to build around the country. Think about it.