Chesterton Tribune



Hazmat leak closes I65 for 12 hours Saturday

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A hazardous-materials leak forced the closure for nearly 12 hours of northbound I-65 Saturday, the Indiana State Police said.

According to police, at 4:35 a.m. trucker Dennis A. Rheiner, 61, of Jonesborough, Tenn., was northbound on I-65, north of the I-80/94 ramp, when a car cut him off, causing Rheiner to lose control of his semi-tractor tanker on the snow-covered road surface. The tanker--carrying 6,935 gallons of placarded hexanes, a colorless flammable liquid derived from the distillation of petroleum and used as a solvent--flipped onto its passenger side, police said, and a small leak in the tank was subsequently found.

Rheiner was not injured and his trucking firm, Transport Service Company of Oak Brook, Ill., dispatched a second tanker to offload the hexanes, police said.

That second tanker, however, was struck by another vehicle after it arrived at the scene. According to police, Tyrone Lashaun Hardin, 35, of Gary, was in the left lane when he came around the curve portion of the road, began to slide, and struck the rear of the second--and still--empty trailer.

The tankerís driver, Anthony C. Smith, 51, of Chicago, was standing in front of his rig at the time, talking to a Hoosier Helper, and was not injured. Hardin, wearing his seatbelt, was treated and released at the scene.

The second tanker itself sustained minimal damage and was used to offload the hexanes, police said.

But--until 4:07 p.m.--all lanes of northbound I-65 were diverted to westbound I-80/94.


Posted 12/16/2013