WEEKEND: Tractor trailer containing hazardous materials overturns on Hwy 33

Published 12:28 pm Monday, January 22, 2024

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A tractor trailer containing hazardous materials overturned on NC Highway 33 at approximately 11:44 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20, according to Blounts Creek Volunteer Fire Department. The accident was at least one mile west of Clay Bottom School Road. 

Fire units arriving at the scene found the tractor trailer on its side with heavy damage to the tractor portion of the rig. Crews assessed the rig which appeared to have rolled multiple times. The single occupant of the trailer had minor injuries, according to the volunteer fire department. 

Due to the nature of the accident, responding crews immediately requested additional resources. They quickly determined the truck was carrying Anhydrous Ammonia and was fully loaded. 

The roadway was closed for 15 total hours to ensure a safe working area was established. Fire crews wore PPE and breathing equipment while approaching the trailer to assess if there was a leak. 

With no ammonia leaks being found crews began making contacts to further mitigate the incident,” the volunteer fire department shared. 

Fire units called the NC Hazardous Materials Response Team for assistance. They provided an empty tanker and led the transition of the ammonia from the overturned tanker to the empty tanker. 

“This proved to be a difficult task due to well below freezing temperatures and the trailer being overturned and valve safety mechanisms being activated in the crash,” according to the volunteer fire department. “After 15 hours on scene in the frigid temperatures and wind chills at 10 degrees the product was transferred and the incident was determined to be terminated.” 

Blounts Creek Volunteer Fire Department stated, “This incident took a tremendous amount of manpower and teamwork and the knowledge from teams who specialize in these types of situations.  We can’t thank everyone enough for everything done and everyone’s hard work.” 

Those who responded to the scene were

Blounts Creek Fire Department

Engine 10

Engine 20

Rescue 40

QRV 80

Town of Chocowinity EMS

EMS 430

Beaufort County NC Emergency Services

Medic 4

EM 1

EM 2

EM 3

EM 4

EM 5

EM 7

Chocowinity Fire Department

Engine 6211 (Initial traffic control)

Aurora VFD

Aurora Fire Department

Fire Chief 6001 (Drone Operations)

Drone 60

North Carolina Regional HazMat Team

RRT – 1 (Williamston)

Nutrien – Aurora Emergency Response

North Carolina Emergency Management

North Carolina State Highway Patrol

Woolard’s Automotive Towing & Transport

Grammer Industries