Hazmat spill near Detroit Metro Airport closed road for hours

- Crews were on the scene of a Hazmat spill in Romulus near the Detroit Metro Airport for nearly 14 hours after some hazardous material leaked out of a semi truck.

The spill was on Middle Belt Road near Interstate-94. Part of Middle Belt Road was blocked off, and the I-94 Middle Belt/Merriman exit ramp was closed. The roadways opened back up shortly after 8 a.m.

The battalion chief for the Romulus Fire Department, George Simko, says the plastic totes in the back of the truck somehow shifted around 6 p.m. Wednesday. The driver knew right away something didn't feel right. He pulled over to check it out and saw some of the potassium hydroxide he was hauling had spilled out.

"He doesn't know whether it shifted or if he hit the brakes and it slid forward or something, but somehow it had a hole punctured in it in the side of the trailer," Simko says.

It's toxic material that has many industrial uses, such as a metal cleaner. We're told it never had any danger of catching fire.

Hazmat crews were immediately called in, along with a private contractor connected to U.S. Holland, the trucking company involved, to minimize any enviromental impact.

We're told since the driver parked the rig close to a storm sewer, whatever did leak out was easily contained and eventually neutralized.

"We did PH levels three times in the storm drains; it never leached over to any system. So, we're are clean," says Simko.

In all, we're told 250 gallons of chemicals leaked out. Luckily, it was caught quickly. 


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