Sick truck driver call led to Oak Ridge turnpike closure

A situation involving a truck driver getting sick while transporting hazardous waste led to the temporary closure of Oak Ridge Turnpike on Wednesday, according to fire officials. (5/17/17 4PM)

UPDATE 3:15 p.m. 

A situation involving a truck driver getting sick while transporting hazardous waste led to the temporary closure of Oak Ridge Turnpike on Wednesday, according to fire officials. 

Around 11:50 a.m. the Oak Ridge Fire Department was dispatched to a spot on Oak Ridge Turnpike near Newport Road for a report of a truck driver who was ill. 

When the fire crew got on scene they saw the tractor trailer was transporting hazardous waste, so while evaluating the patient, they also checked the shipment to make sure it wasn't associated with the truck driver's illness, the fire department explained. The trucking containers were marked with labels noting it contained radioactive cargo.  

Officials explained that they closed that section of the Oak Ridge Turnpike as a precaution until the patient could be taken to the hospital. The truck was then moved to a city parking lot for further evaluation and so the highway could reopen. 

A NIXLE alert had been sent out to notify the public about the road closure but also said to avoid the area until further notice due to 'a possible HAZMAT situation.' 

"If there had been any threat to the public, a CodeRed Emergency Notification would have been issued to the community with appropriate instructions as to what action should be taken," the fire department explained in its release about the incident.  

Oak Ridge Fire Department said it was a routine shipment and posed no threat to the public. 

Police and fire department trucks eventually escorted the shipment to its final destination in Oak Ridge. 

UPDATE: The Oak Ridge Turnpike has reopened after fire and police officials cleared a "possible HAZMAT situation," according to the Oak Ridge Police Department. 

Officials have not released any further information about the incident.

PREVIOUS STORY: The Oak Ridge Turnpike is closed between Montana Avenue and Newport Drive as authorities respond to a possible HAZMAT situation. 

Officials are asking the public to avoid the area until further notice. In a Nixle alert, the Oak Ridge Police Department asked the public not to call 911 unless it is an emergency.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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