WADE, N.C. — A truck carrying a radioactive chemical was involved in a crash on I-95 South, near Wade, North Carolina, on Wednesday.
The truck was operated by Hittman Transport Services, which is based in Oak Ridge. It specializes in transporting low-level radioactive waste and hauls nuclear chemicals across the U.S. It makes over 300 radioactive shipments per month, officials said.
The truck in North Carolina was carrying uranium hexafluoride, which is usually used as a precursor for uranium enrichment. None of the chemicals leaked from their containers, officials said, and no injuries were reported due to the crash.
Hazmat teams with the North Carolina Highway Patrol responded to the incident and made sure everything was stable. People were told to evacuate at least 75 feet as crews worked to ensure the material was still stable, and that it had not touched water.
Officials said they were worried about the uranium hexafluoride potentially contaminating any water. However, they said it did not escape its container.
The crash occurred as the 18-wheeler truck tried to merge lanes, officials said. The driver did not see a nearby van and crashed into it, according to police. Although no injuries were reported, the van needed to be towed away from the scene.
The highway was shut down while crews responded to the incident, before reopening later in the afternoon.
A secondary crash was also reported in the area on Wednesday, near mile marker 67 on I-95. A driver clipped a box truck after traffic backed up due to the first accident, officials said.
One person was injured and had to be flown to a hospital in a helicopter, officials said. They were in serious condition, police said.