Tanker carrying blasting agent overturns in Pike County

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

A tanker truck overturned in the Robinson Creek area of Pike County earlier today spilling several tons of hazardous material into a creek.

State Police say the driver, 58-year-old Karl Ashley, lost control on Kentucky 3415.

The tanker leaked a powder substance, which was a premixed fuel and Ammonium Nitrate blasting agent, into the creek. Both northbound and southbound directions of KY 3415 (Little Robinson Creek Road) were closed down.

"When we responded we found that the truck was in the creek and it was carrying a material that was hazardous," said Shelby Valley Volunteer Fire Chief Darrell Compton.

The truck was carrying nearly 43,000 pounds of Ammonium Nitrate.

Nearly one third of that poured into the creek along with several tons of fuel.

"We've got some diesel fuel in the creek and also some of the nitrates will dissolve out of the ammonium nitrate," said Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett.

Crews put booms across the creek to help catch the spilled materials.

"We can probably collect most of the diesel fuel in the absorbents we put in the stream. the part the can't collect is the nitrates which dissolve from the ammonium," Tackett said.

As a precautionary measure, Emergency Management Services evacuated a one-half mile area around the spill until they could get it cleaned up.

"The only concern right now is just fire where it was mixed with diesel fuel and there's been a limited evacuation just of this little area right here," Tackett said.

Officials say there is not an explosive hazard, and the drinking water in the area is not affected.

The driver of the truck was not injured in the crash.

Officials say they should have the spill cleaned up by Monday night.


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