High winds sweeping through the desert southwest are the likely cause of a rollover that resulted in the loss of a driver’s life and a hazardous material spill. The incident happened on Feb. 14 at around 2:40 p.m. in Tucson, Arizona on Interstate 10.
Arizona State Police reported a tractor-trailer carrying containers with nitric acid, a chemical used in the glass and metal industries, overturned between Rita and Kolb Road. The vapors released caused officials to evacuate a one-mile radius and issue a shelter-in-place for an extended area downwind of the scene.
I-10 was closed until 9 p.m. as when the shelter-in-place order was also lifted. The evacuation was upheld until 8:00 a.m. the next day. According to the CDC, nitric acid is a highly corrosive chemical used in the glass, metal, and polymer industries.
Exposure to it can cause delayed pulmonary edema, pneumonitis, bronchitis, dental erosion, and irritation to the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. Residents should check to see if there are lingering fumes in homes around the area and contact authorities if they feel that their home is safe.
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