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Early this morning, a tanker truck and a car collided on Interstate 15 near the Nevada border, and a resulting hazardous chemical spill has led to the freeway being closed in both directions, The Press-Enterprise reports. The overturned tanker truck is continuing to leak a hazardous substance, and according to California Highway Patrol and officials from Caltrans, the cleanup is likely to take all day and continue into the evening. The route is the main travel corridor for people driving between the Southland and Las Vegas. A spokeswoman for Caltrans said it takes many hours to clean up ferric chloride, which the truck had been carrying.

The 6:25 a.m. incident on June 22, 2012 occurred when a tanker truck and a car collided near Primm Valley Golf Club, The Press-Enterprise reports. The accident site is roughly five miles south of the Nevada border.

As of 9:30 a.m., the truck’s load of 1,400 gallons of ferric chloride was continuing to spill from the damaged vehicle into a ditch in the center divider, CHP Officer Adam Croxton said. He conveyed this information from the scene of the accident, the news story says.

The truck and car had been traveling in the northbound lanes when they collided, which caused the truck driver to lose control. The truck then swerved into the center divider and overturned, Croxton said in the The Press-Enterprise’s story. The car ended up facing the wrong way in the southbound lanes.

English: A California Highway Patrol unit on t...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Because the spill, and cleanup are located in the center divider, both lanes of traffic in both directions are closed. Croxton said that southbound traffic has been stopped at the state line, and northbound traffic is halted at Yates Well Road, which is the off-ramp for the Primm Valley Golf Club. The spilled chemical is used in industrial processes, such as manufacturing electronic circuit boards, the news story says. The liquid, orange-brown in color, is not specifically regulated as toxic or hazardous by OSHA, The Press-Enterprise reports, but it causes health problems such as eye irritation, blurred vision, skin irritation, and respiratory irritation.

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