Hazmat spill blocks North McLean Blvd.
By Dave Gathman email@example.com July 6, 2012 10:54AM
Updated: August 9, 2012 6:28AM
ELGIN — North McLean Boulevard was closed north of Big Timber Road in Elgin for four hours Friday after the hot weather caused bins of a chemical to leak aboard a semi-trailer truck.
Battalion Chief Bryan McMahan of the Elgin Fire Department said the truck driver was bouncing across the railroad tracks along McLean just south of Big Timber when he heard a bang inside the enclosed trailer at about 8:37 a.m. Stopping the semi just north of Big Timber, he got out of the truck and saw liquid streaming out of the trailer.
McMahan said the cargo of petroleum-based lubricants and coolants was stored in 500-gallon bins inside the trailer, and apparently the high temperature plus the bumpy tracks had caused some of the bins’ lids to pop off. He said a South Elgin-based hazardous-materials control team came to the scene to investigate, dressed at first in very hot hazmat suits.
Determining there was little chance of a fire or dangerous fumes, the firefighters then soaked up most of the spill using a kitty litter-like material called Safe Stop, which was picked up by an Elgin street sweeper. Firefighters then washed down the street with a hose “so that if any of it got into the sewers, it would be well diluted,” McMahan said.