CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Brookshire Freeway opened again in both directions at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, more than seven hours after it closed because of a gasoline tanker crash.
Firefighters and police closed the Brookshire near the Beatties Ford Road exit shortly after the 10 a.m. crash, to rescue the driver and begin cleaning up spilled gas.
The driver, who was not identified, was taken to Carolinas Medical Center where he was treated and released, according to the transport company.
Capt. Rob Brisley of the Charlotte Fire Department said the tanker from Waccamaw Transport carried 8,500 gallons of gasoline. A Waccamaw representative said only about 300 to 400 gallons of the gasoline spilled, and most of it was contained by firefighters.
Firefighters used small inflatable baby pools to catch gas spilling from a hole in the top of the overturned tanker, and an environmental cleanup company pumped the remainder of the gasoline out of the tanker into another truck before towing the tanker out of the ditch.
"The First thing we have to do is to pump the tanker off, get all of the fluids out of the tanker such that it can be removed safely and then we can address the contaminants that got into the soil," said Steve Lucas, an environmental engineer working to clean up the site.
Cleanup will continue for a few days as the company digs up the gasoline-soaked dirt around the crash site and disposes of it.
The cause of the wreck is still under investigation.