FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – Interstate 69 is still closed in the Beasley area after a tanker overturned leaking butane Wednesday morning. Officials said the lanes could be closed until Thursday.
The southbound lanes will take longer to re-open because wrecker trucks on scene will have to upright the tanker and HAZMAT crew will need to check underneath for potentially hazardous material.
Different state agencies also need to make sure that there isn’t significant road damage and that it’s safe for vehicles to travel on that southbound stretch of road.
According to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, it happened just before 5 a.m. near Isleib and affects traffic in both directions.
Deputies say when the 10,000 gallon tanker over-turned, about 1/3 of it was still filled with the gas, maikng it potentially explosive.
Officials spent hours on Wednesday considering two options to clear the scene if the gas had not leaked out and evaporated: One option was blowing up the truck, in a controlled explosion. The second was to puncture a hole in the tank, and do a slow, controlled burn. That operation would’ve taken up to 10 hours.
At noon Wednesday, the sheriff's office announced the roadway would likely be closed for the next 12 hours - the rest of the day.
No injuries were reported. According to Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls, the truck was carrying butane which could be seen spewing from the tanker.
Authorities and emergency crews from Fort Bend, DPS, TxDOT and Rosenberg are on the scene of the hazmat spill.
Deputies said frontage roads will be at a standstill until further notice.
KHOU 11 Traffic Reporter Darby Douglas said southbound traffic is being diverted at Spur 10 northbound to Highway 90 Alternate, westbound to FM 1875, and then to southbound on Loop 540.
Northbound traffic is being diverted off at FM 2919 northbound to Highway 60, northbound to Highway 90 Alternate eastbound, to Spur 10.
Around 6:30 a.m., a train traveling through the area along I-69 had to be stopped to avoid the spill.
An investigation continues into what led to the accident.