Update: W’burg chemical spill contained, Highway 92W re-opened, Pilot Travel Center still closed for clean-up
Update: Whitley County E-911 reported at 8:30 p.m. Thursday that the chemical spill, which caused Highway 92W to shutdown about 6:30 p.m., has been contained, and the roadway is back open. However, Pilot Travel Center remains closed as crews perform clean-up work.
First responders have evacuated the area around the Pilot Travel Center at Exit 11 in Williamsburg due to a chemical leak from a semi.
The evacuation is for the area between the Exit 11 southbound off-ramp west along Highway 92W to just passed Walmart, according to an alert issued by Whitley County E-911 about 6:47 p.m.
“This evacuation is due to a chemical leak. Response crews are on scene at this time. There is a detour being set up coming from Highway 92W towards Williamsburg. Traffic will be detoured along South Main Street. Traffic coming from I-75 is being turned east along Highway 92W to US25S. At this time the estimated time frame is four hours,” the 911 alert stated.
According to the Williamsburg Police Department, the area was evacuated for 1/10th of a mile.
The chemical leak was apparently first observed sometime between 6 – 6:30 p.m.
Williamsburg Fire and Rescue Chief Larry Todd said the leaking is originating from an Old Dominion tractor trailer in the far left corner.
“We have everything sort of isolated, and are keeping away right now,” Todd said about 7 p.m. noting emergency officials from Williamsburg Fire and Rescue, Goldbug Volunteer Fire Department, Eco Tech and the Williamsburg Police Department are working to identify the leaking chemical and formulate a plan for cleaning it up.
Officials aren’t sure how much chemical has leaked, but from a distance the portion of chemical that leaked on the ground appears to only be about three feet or so in diameter, Todd estimated.
Todd said that the area was evacuated as a precaution by the Williamsburg Police Department prior to the fire department’s arrival.