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One lane of Highway 27 reopen in Whitley City after sodium hydroxide spill

11:41 AM, Mar 29, 2013   |    comments
Sodium hydroxide chemical spill in Whitley City
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One lane of Highway 27 in McCreary County, Ky. has reopened after a sodium hydroxide spill.

The spill happened around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. when a tractor trailer carrying the solution crashed in Whitley City.

EMA officials said the truck was hauling a solution of 20 percent sodium hydroxide that is used in water treatment.

The truck turned over while driving to the water treatment plant after its rear wheels dropped off the road, McCreary County EMA director Rudy Young said.

Eight to 10 gallons of the chemical leaked out initially, but the tank broke overnight and released 800-1,000 gallons of the solution into the area, Young said.

The trucking company brought in another truck to remove the rest of the chemical. EMA officials said

Two workers from the trucking company were burned by the chemical while trying to remove cargo from the truck. Paramedics took them to a local hospital for treatment.

A hazardous materials cleanup contractor continues to work to clear the site. They expect to be finished by the end of the day.

Officials did not have to order any residential evacuations.

McCreary County school officials canceled classes on Friday because of the spill. They said there isn't a danger for students, but they decided to close the schools because of the traffic issue.

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