This accident occurred on one of the major routes into and out of the Pocono Mountains from the Metro Philly (and south) area.
"State Police tell 69 News their hope is to have residents evacuated by this morning's accident on Route 33 in Northampton County begin returning to their homes around 3:00 this afternoon. An estimated 5,000 residents living within about a one-mile radius of Wind Gap and Route 33, which includes parts of Wind Gap borough and Plainfield and Bushkill townships, were forced to flee their homes early this morning. Officials say a truck hauling 33,000 pounds of hydrogen fluoride swerved to avoid hitting a deer and overturned on Route 33 near mile-marker 17 in Plainfield Township, Northampton County around 3:30. An evacuation center has been set up at Pen Argyl High School. [ MAP TO HIGH SCHOOL ] Pets are being accepted. Officials originally told evacuees to plan on being away from their homes for 12 to 24 hours. According to Northampton County Administrator John Conklin, crews on the scene have managed to stop the chemical compound from dripping from a valve on the truck. They will now focus on finding a way to safely upright and remove the truck."
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03-21-2009, 12:32 PM #1
**MAJOR INCIDENT**SPAZ-MAT, Northampton County, Pennsylvania"Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."
03-21-2009, 01:40 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
Wouldn't you think that hitting a deer with a 25 ton vehicle would be a viable option to dumping 16 tons of hazardous materials onto the roadway?PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.
03-21-2009, 02:03 PM #3
03-21-2009, 03:55 PM #4
Whoops.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
03-21-2009, 04:50 PM #5
03-21-2009, 11:31 PM #6
Wouldn't the Blue Route be the major connector between the Poconos and metro Philadelphia?
03-21-2009, 11:57 PM #7
Many from the Philly area choose to take Rt 309 north to I78 to 33......and into the eastern Poconos."Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."
03-22-2009, 10:29 AM #8
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
Well..................Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006
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03-22-2009, 01:33 PM #9
Spill forces evacuation in Wind Gap
Thousands leave homes after tanker truck with toxic chemical overturns on Route 33
By Tim Blangger and Dan Hartzell | Of The Morning Call
March 22, 2009
Thousands of residents in and around Wind Gap were evacuated for about nine hours Saturday as a precaution after a small amount of a hazardous chemical spilled from an overturned tanker truck on Route 33, officials said.
Emergency crews began informing the 5,000 affected residents about the evacuation by telephone around 7 a.m., about four hours after the accident. Using fire engine sirens and vehicle-mounted public address systems, they also scoured borough streets, and went door to door.
''It's a little upsetting,'' said Jeff Winters, 29, who took refuge at Pen Argyl Area High School with his boxer, Rocky, and about 175 other residents.
''I'd never leave him behind, no matter what the situation was,'' he said of his seemingly unfazed dog.
The evacuation area extended a mile from the accident scene, just north of where Route 33 crosses over Eighth Street on Wind Gap's western border. It included four senior living centers and involved all of Wind Gap and sections of Bushkill and Plainfield townships, extending into an area on Blue Mountain in Monroe County.
Residents were offered shelter at the high school until the evacuation order was lifted at 3:45 p.m. The Red Cross was joined by other volunteers and emergency workers in serving lunch to evacuees, who filled the hours playing ball in the gym and games in the classrooms.
A pickup badminton game gave Alina Byulyukova and her daughter Elise, 17, some laughs in the midst of an unanticipated day away from home.
''It's stressful,'' Byulyukova said of the evacuation. ''But they're having fun,'' she said, gesturing toward the group involved in the contest on the gym floor.
LANTA buses and other vehicles brought 67 residents of the Walden III assisted living home in Wind Gap to the school. They spent the afternoon in a lively game of bingo, battling it out in a classroom as Walden staffers wrote the selected numbers on a blackboard to make sure there was no confusion.
For motorists stuck on Route 33 and its offshoots, there was no diversion from the gridlock.
The highway was closed most of the day until 6 p.m., causing traffic to back up for miles on Routes 512 and 191 and on local roads in the area.
State police at Belfast said the 2:40 a.m. accident occurred when the truck driver, Raymond Leblanc, 54, of Ontario, Canada, swerved on southbound Route 33 to avoid a deer.
The tanker tipped on its side and slid several hundred yards, police said. First responders made sure to stay uphill and upwind of the truck, said Joe Hart, Plainfield Township assistant fire chief.
The truck's tank, holding 33,000 pounds of undiluted hydrofluoric acid -- which causes skin and respiratory irritation at low levels of exposure and is fatal at high levels -- remained intact, said Mark R. Carmon, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
A small amount of acid held in a truck safety device -- a vapor recovery line -- leaked onto the roadway, officials said. The recovery line traps any chemical released as it is being transferred to the tanker or into a customer's storage tank.
Carmon described the release as a ''slow drip.''
A spokesman for Honeywell International, owner of the truck and manufacturer of the hydrofluoric acid, said ''less than a quart'' of the acid leaked. The chemical was made in Honeywell's plant in Amherstburg, Ontario, and was being transported to a customer who would use it to refine high-octane gasoline, said Honeywell spokesman Peter F. Dalpe. He declined to say where the chemical was being taken. State police said the truck was headed to Philadelphia.
After the accident, crews from DEP monitored air quality around the site, concentrating on a half-mile area around the accident. They found no trace of hydrofluoric compounds, Carmon said.
The drip was stopped shortly before noon, Carmon said. Emergency crews uprighted the tanker about 3:10 p.m., said John Conklin, Northampton County administrator and public information officer for the county's Emergency Management Services.
A heavy-duty crane then lifted the tanker onto a flatbed truck. State police escorted the truck out of the area.
Wind Gap Mayor Mitch Mogilski said he was pleased with the response from fire, police and ambulance crews and with the Pen Argyl Area School District's ability to accommodate people.
He said most of the borough's 2,800 residents probably stayed with friends and relatives, and acknowledged that some might have disregarded the order.
The evacuation created a surreal scene in Wind Gap, where most of the streets were deserted, but some businesses remained open until noon, selling soft drinks and pumping gas.
The incident ended without serious injury. The truck driver, Leblanc, was treated at Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg for a minor injury and released, officials said. A passenger in the truck, Joseph Dault, 51, also of Ontario, was treated at the scene, according to Dalpe, the Honeywell spokesman.
Honeywell requires trucks hauling hydrofluoric acid, or HF, be staffed with two drivers, who work in shifts. It operates the largest HF truck fleet in North America, according to the company Web site.
The Wind Gap incident is the second involving HF in the last 10 days in Pennsylvania, according to Clean Water Action, a Pennsylvania activist group.
State coordinator Myron Arnowitt cited Saturday's incident and a small release at the Sunoco Refinery in Philadelphia 10 days ago.
''Unlike many other gases, it does not dissipate easily, which increases the hazards of a release in a populated area,'' he said.
Tim.Blangger@mcall.com"Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."
03-22-2009, 09:15 PM #10
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
- pen argyl pa
This happend right next to where I live, traffic was a hugh mess. But all organzations did an excellent job, evacuating, taking care of the situation, and with traffic/crowd controls. Everyone worked well together.
03-22-2009, 09:42 PM #11
What about the deer that evaded the scene? Any leads?Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
03-22-2009, 09:47 PM #12
^ I lol'd..Albuquerque Police Explorer.
In process of joining Bernalillo County Fire Explorers.
Future Albuquerque Fire Department hopeful..
03-23-2009, 12:07 PM #13
Listened to this one on the scanner on and off on saturday.
I tell you, Northeastern PA (Monroe & Pike Counties) see a lot of action for a somewhat rural area.
Kind of like my area of NJ in the 70's.I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.
"The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."
"When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."
03-23-2009, 01:05 PM #14"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
03-24-2009, 12:56 AM #15
Wow, I have yet to talk to a truck driver who will swerve to miss a deer, or any animal in the roadway for that matter.
Here in WI you see lots of deer struck and they basically turn into a red mist. In fact truckers brag about how many deer they have hit.
I am with FWDbuff.....It was an excuse because his Mt. Dew wore off and he fell asleep.Jason Knecht
Altoona Fire Rescue
IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!
03-24-2009, 11:23 AM #16
- Join Date
- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
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