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Three Hospitalized Following Truck Fire,...

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BURLINGTON — Burlington police say theaccident that hasclosed Interstate 85-40 near Burlington could snarl traffic untilrush hour tomorrow morning.

At least three people have been taken to hospitals afterinhaling smoke from a chemical cloud sent up by the tractor-trailerwreck.

Burlington police say Interstate 85-40 could be blocked for upto 14 more

hours because of this accident. That estimate would meantrafficcould start flowing again just before dawn tomorrow morning.

An officer working at the scene of the accident on Interstate85/40 and a woman who was snarled in traffic were taken to thehospital this morning. The tractor trailer driver also was taken tothe hospital. There was no immediate word on their condition.

Captain Jim Conklin of the Burlington Police Department saysthetruck, which is owned by an Indiana company, caught fire after oneof the rear tires blew out as it traveled north on Interstate85/40.

Police say there was at least one explosion in the trailerwhichwas carrying a variety of hazardous chemicals including paint, acidand sodium hydroxide.

Businesses along a road that runs parallel to the interstatesent workers home for the day. But the wind is changing directions,and authorities say they may need to evacuate a one-square milearea surrounding the wreck.

Emergency workers plan to let the fire burn itself out beforethey try to clear the highway. They expect the road to remainclosed for several more hours.

Kristi Vestal, WBAGCopyright ©1996 AssociatedPress. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,rewritten, or distributed.

Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.