Hazmat crews clean up after tanker explosion on Interstate 69


MDOT Spokeswoman Anita Richardson said westbound I-69 is back open to traffic as of 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Eastbound lanes between M-15 and Belsay Road remain closed. MDOT officials say they hope to have at least one lane back open by midnight.

***End update***

Hazmat crews were on scene all day Thursday as crews worked to remove a destroyed tanker near Interstate 69 and Irish Road in Davison Township. The freeway is closed from M-15 to Belsay Road and will remain closed until hazmat crews can get this all cleaned up.

We're told the tanker was carrying 120,000 pounds of crude oil, headed eastbound for Marysville, Michigan. Officials say the tanking company is based out of St. Louis, Michigan.

â??He was eastbound on interstate 69. He walked away from it (the accident),â?? says Mike Wright, chief of the Davison Township Fire Department. â??He's the luckiest man I know today by far,â?? adds Wright.

The driver of that tanker tells first responders he hit a patch of ice, losing control of the vehicle. The tanker then went off the interstate and hit a guard rail.

The driver was able to get out of that truck before the explosion.

â??We did send him to the hospital just for precautionary,â?? says Wright.

Police evacuated the area because of the explosion and because they feared the crude oil would burn hydrogen carbons which can be toxic if inhaled.

However, businesses are back open Thursday evening and neighbors are headed back home while first responders monitor the situation.

Police say neighbors can head back home but they urge you stay away from the area while they get the mess cleaned up.

Michigan Department of Transportation officials say the interstate will be closed from Belsay to M15 for several hours until they can inspect the bridge.