Emergency crews kept the media and onlookers at a distance from the spill.
It was enough to make even the most experienced firefighter nervous. Seven thousand gallons of gasoline along with kerosene and diesel fuel were in an upside-down truck, and something was leaking.
It was so dangerous that firefighters blocked off U.S. 64, the busiest highway in Edgecombe County.
"We think we have a small leak that is being contained at this time, and they will make arrangements to offload what is left on the truck," said firefighter Bobby Harrell.
The tanker swerved off the eastbound lane about 10:30 a.m. Monday. All traffic was at a standstill from then on.
Firefighters took their time, knowing that a single spark or a wrong move could have meant trouble.
They planned to drain every gallon of fuel before moving the truck or opening the highway.
"We want to make sure we do everything by the book. Do it the safe way, the right way. When we all leave and nobody is hurt, then we have done a good job," said Harrell.
The highway was re-opened late Monday night.
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