City of Athens reopens road, lets evacuees go home after tanker truck turns over spilling fuel gas

Local News

UPDATE (4:10 P.M.) – The City of Athens lifted their evacuation notice and said that residents can return to their homes.

They also added that the loop is now open for traffic and that highway 19 is still closed but should be open within the hour.

ATHENS, Texas (KETK)- The city of Athens blocked roads and evacuated residents after a tanker truck rolled over and began releasing a fuel gas.

On Friday around 9 p.m., the 18-wheeler was headed south on Highway 19 just north of Athens when tipped over while entering the eastbound ramp of Loop 7.

After nearly two hours after the wreck, the city issued an evacuation radius that is one-half mile and added that the leak was non-toxic and that the driver was not injured.

Shortly after the Henderson County Senior Center located next to the Fairpark Complex opened to accommodate evacuees.

By early morning Saturday, around 12:25 a.m., the propylene stopped leaking from the wrecked tanker and HazMat officials from the company were on the scene and planned to offload around 50% of the propylene into another truck. The city of Athens said at that time, workers will attempt to set the wrecked tanker upright and check for more leaks.

At 10 a.m., the effort to offload the propylene continued. The city of Athens said in a Facebook post, a technical expert in the field would arrive at noon. They added that while the tanker was not currently leaking, there was an ongoing safety issue and the evacuation and road closures remained in place.

Around 12:30 p.m. the city of Athens said officials from multiple agencies are continuing to work on a solution for the current situation.

“The utmost care is being taken to safely resolve this issue,” The city of Athens wrote. They added that there isn’t an estimated timeline for completing the cleanup and that information will be posted as soon as it is known.

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