By Sarah Plummer
A tank truck overturned on Sewell Mountain Tuesday around 6 p.m., entrapping the driver and causing potentially thousands of gallons of gasoline to pour onto the ground off U.S. Route 60 in Greenbrier County.
Rainelle Fire Department Assistant Chief Ashley Tincher explained that the semi-trailer truck owned by Bandy Sunoco, out of Hico, overturned in one of Route 60’s curves and rolled off the roadway and into the ditch.
Tincher said firefighters were able to extract the entrapped driver from the wreck and he was transported to a Charleston hospital by HealthNet Helicopter via a launch pad at the Rainelle Army Reserve Center.
As of 8:30 p.m., Rainelle Fire Department and Evergreen Environmental were at the scene attempting to stop the gas flow from the truck and clean up the hazardous material.
Tincher said they estimate the tanker was carrying anywhere between 5,000 to 9,000 gallons of gasoline.
“When I was at the scene it was a steady free-flowing leak. Anytime there is a HAZMAT situation, we take serious precaution, especially with gas because it is so volatile. Currently our vehicles are gone from the scene and the road is closed, eliminating the threat of an explosion,” she explained.
Route 60 was shut down from Loops Road to the intersection of W.Va. 20 in the City of Rainelle. Tincher expected the road to remain closed until midnight Tuesday.
Quinwood Fire Department assisted Rainelle at the scene and at the launch pad.