SELMA — A tanker truck carrying 8,000 gallons of ethanol overturned in Selma on Tuesday afternoon, closing traffic on U.S. 70 for hours and forcing the evacuation of several businesses.
Town officials evacuated buildings in a 500-foot radius around the truck, which overturned near the McDonald’s at 335 U.S. 70 in Selma. The stretch of U.S. 70 between U.S. 301 and Interstate 95 was closed to traffic.
Selma Police Chief Charles Bowen said the tanker was fully loaded with ethanol when it rolled onto its side about 1 p.m. The fire department unloaded the ethanol into another tanker and cleaned up the scene.
The road reopened late Tuesday evening.
It’s not clear yet what caused the tanker to overturn, Bowen said. He said the driver was taken to Johnston Medical Center with injuries that were not considered serious. No one else was injured.
At the Royal Inn on the edge of the evacuation zone, residents were allowed to stay, but the road to the inn was blocked. Owner Barry Brannon said he didn’t know anything was wrong until firetrucks began driving by after the truck tipped.
“Well, we’re not going to have any business tonight, I’m pretty sure,” Brannon said while the firefighters worked.