TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — A Semi tanker carrying highly ignitable cargo rolled over Tuesday morning causing Interstate 65 to be closed down for more than seven hours as crews worked to clear the scene. All lanes have since reopened.
The rollover occurred at approximately 7 a.m. on I-65 South at mile-marker 178, just south of the State Road 43 exit. Preliminary investigation by the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office reveals that the semi tanker, owned by Bork Transportation out of Illinois, was being driven by Dwayne Pough, 26, from Chicago. Troopers said Pough was heading south on the interstate when his tanker left the roadway on the inside berm, went into the median and rolled onto its side.
Sgt. Kim Riley said the tanker was filled with approximately 3,000 gallons of heptane, which is a highly flammable liquid used as a gasoline additive. Both directions of I-65 had to be shut down due to the flammable liquid. Riley said a car back firing or a lit cigarette could have caused the spill to ignite.
“Just anything could ignite that. It would not take much. It’s a very low ignitable fluid,” Riley said. “It’s just so dangerous. We’re afraid that somebody could throw a cigarette out, a car back firing, just about anything could ignite that fume.”
The interstate was closed for over seven hours as crews worked to clear the scene. Authorities reopened the northbound lanes at 2 p.m. and southbound lanes reopened at roughly 2:45 p.m.
However, traffic around the Lafayette area was heavily effected, as traffic was diverted off the interstate and onto Lafayette roadways. U.S. 231, U.S. 52 (Sagamore Parkway) and other high-traffic roadways saw heavy congestion due to the rollover.
Authorities said there were no injuries reported.
Riley said no citations were issued at this time. The investigation is ongoing.
Holly Campbell will have more details on the rollover on News 18 at Five and Six.