All clear given after overturned tanker prompts almost 5 hour evacuation in Silsbee

Crews worked for hours trying to get the tanker containing hazardous chemicals upright on FM 418 near Highway 92 in Silsbee

SILSBEE - No one was injured and no chemicals were spilled after a tanker carrying a volatile chemical flipped in north Silsbee Monday.

An evacuation was ordered for a 1,000 foot radius around the truck after it rolled just after 8 a.m. Monday about a quarter mile west of Highway 92 forcing Silsbee Police to shut down FM 418 and 11th Street.

The owner of Alfred's Laundry in Silsbee, Pete Matak could not get to the store today because the roads were blocked off.

He was relieved to learn his employee helped the driver after seeing the accident occur right outside the store.

"I was thankful she was there because he needed help," Matak said.

About 20 to 25 homes and three businesses, including a laundromat and two doctor's offices were evacuated and the roadway was closed for almost five hours.

BJ Stott, one of those residents planned to go to Beaumont today but made his trip earlier than he thought.

"The concern would be if there's a leak and for some reason or another there was a spark that set off an explosion, I don't want to be close to it," Stott said.

The road was reopened by 1 p.m.

Matak is glad crews worked hard to get the roads and his business reopened.

"I'll be anxious to get back to work so I can wash these clothes. I got a car full of clothes I need to wash. I've been there 30 years and it's like a home to me," Matak said.

The tanker’s driver was not injured in the accident. Silsbee Police say he may be cited for the accident.

The tanker truck was carrying isopentane which is flammable and could be poisonous if exposed to the air according to Silsbee Fire Chief Robin Jones.

Isopentane is extremely flammable and if mixed with air the vapors can be explosive according to the CDC website.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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