Extendable trailer specs

CodeRed shelter-in-place order lifted after tractor trailer overturns south of Brent Spence Bridge

(Photo by City of Covington)

Emergency authorities this morning lifted the CodeRed shelter-in-place alert that was issued late last night after a tractor-trailer carrying gasoline overturned just south of the Brent Spence Bridge and began spouting fuel onto Interstate 71-75 and the streets below.

But the freeway remains closed in both directions – as are several city streets near the bridge’s overpasses – as crews continue to clean up the mess. However, authorities said they hoped to be able to reopen the highway as early as this afternoon.

“The immediate danger is now gone,” Covington Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Bowman said. “We are only in the cleaning phase.”

The crash happened around 11 p.m. Saturday night when the loaded, southbound tractor-trailer rolled onto its side and slid onto the freeway just after crossing the bridge.

Bowman said the truck was carrying about 8,000 gallons of gasoline and about 500 gallons squirted out of the trailer onto the road surface, much of it falling into the streets below.

Fire crews from Covington and Cincinnati responded quickly, as did other local and regional first responders and officials from transportation and environmental agencies. As Kenton County Emergency Management issued the CodeRed alert for the area within half a mile of the crash, crews cordoned off the area; contained the spill with booms, sand and absorbent materials; and called a company to drain the remaining fuel from the truck.

This morning the truck had been emptied and righted, Bowman said. Crews continue to clean up the scene, spreading sand, rinsing the area and picking up the sand.

“We hope to reopen the freeway to traffic in three to four hours,” Bowman said at around 9 a.m. this morning, “but that’s just an estimate.”

Overnight, northbound traffic was rerouted onto I-275 at Erlanger. Due to a number of tractor-trailers and other vehicles overwhelming the historic Roebling Suspension Bridge, this bridge was also temporarily closed, given its low weight limit of 11 tons.

Authorities said last night the driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries. It was not known how the accident happened.

From the town of Covington

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