FARINA — A section of Interstate 57 remains closed as chemical cleanup efforts continue following a Thursday tanker accident.
Illinois State Police said a southbound tanker hauling hazardous materials hit a guardrail, overturned and started leaking its contents — believed to be the chemical chloroacetyl chloride — about 2 p.m. Thursday.
According to the Evansville, Ind., Courier & Press, ISP shut down northbound lanes at the Kinmundy exit in Fayette County, several miles south of Effingham, and southbound traffic at the Farina exit in Marion County.
Traffic is being rerouted to Illinois Route 37, according to a report from KSDK-TV in St. Louis. The scene of the accident is Mile Marker No. 130 along I57 in Marion County.
Police cleared a half-mile radius around the site and called in firefighters, the Marion County Emergency Services personnel and a hazardous materials cleanup crew from Centralia, the Courier & Press reported. Canadian National Rail traffic has been halted in the area, as the railroad tracks are less than 100 feet from the accident scene.
The driver and a passenger in the semi were not injured, police said, were able to escape the wreckage.
Saturday evening, KSDK reported that precipitation is delaying the removal of the chemical from the scene.
“They only have 30 percent of the chemical removed and Interstate 57 southbound, mile marker 135, is shut down indefinitely until 100 percent of the chemicals are cleaned up,” ISP Sgt. Chad Smith told KSDK on Saturday night.