Smithfield Herald

October 1, 2013

Fuel tanker overturns in Selma

SELMA A tanker truck carrying 8,000 gallons of ethanol overturned in Selma on Tuesday afternoon, closing traffic on U.S. 70 and forcing the evacuation of several busiensses.

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 is closed to traffic.

Selma Police Chief Charles Bowen said the tanker was fully loaded with ethanol when it rolled over onto its side at about 1 p.m. Bowen said the fire department is loading the ethanol into another tanker.

“Once that is done, they’ll go ahead and stand it up and get it out of there and get the road back open,” he said.

Bowen estimated the road would open again at around 6 p.m. but added that it could take longer.

It’s not clear yet what caused the tanker to overturn, Bowen said. He said the driver was taken to Johnston Medical Center with non-serious injuries. No one else was injured.

At the Royal Inn on the edge of the evacuation zone, guests 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.

“Well, we’re not going to have any business tonight, I’m pretty sure,” Brannon said. “I just pray everything will go well; it won’t explode.”

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