Updated: 5:07 p.m. Monday, April 21, 2014 | Posted: 7:31 a.m. Monday, April 21, 2014

Hazmat situation shuts down part of Route 18 in Washington Co.

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. —

Part of Route 18 in Canton Township was closed Monday morning after a three-truck crash caused a hazmat situation.

Two trucks carrying discharged fracking water stopped at a red light around 3 a.m. when a tractor-trailer hauling more than 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel slammed into them from behind, said John Poister, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection. All three trucks overturned.

“From the damage to the tractor and the trailer, there was some speed involved,” said Canton Township Fire Chief Dave Gump.

About 1,300 gallons of diesel fuel and 400 gallons of fracking water spilled, though most of it was contained on the roadway and in the storm water system, Poister said. An unknown amount reached Chartiers Creek.

“It's not quite as bad as we thought, but we will be there most of the day,” Poister said.

Poister told Channel 11 News that a clean water program crew and cleanup crew were called to the creek. In addition, local fire departments and hazmat workers were also called in.

“There was roughly 2,500 gallons of diesel, and probably 3,000 gallons of water running down the road entering the storm drains, which in turn put all of that into the creek,” Gump said.

Officials said the spill had been contained to 1 ½ miles of the creek.

“We don't know the environmental impact on the creek,” Poister said. “The diesel fuel, obviously, is a major concern.”

“The diesel spill is going to be our biggest concern -- going into the creek and the aquatic life,” Gump said.

Investigators said two people were injured in the accident and were taken to area hospitals.

Jim Loos closed his business for the day after the crash.

“I understand no one got hurt badly.  If it’s OK, they can come back tomorrow,” said Loos.

Traffic was re-routed along a nine-mile detour, county dispatch reported.

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.

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