[KHTS] – Emergency personnel are responding to a chemical spill on Interstate 5 near the Highway 126 interchange.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s deputies, California Highway Patrol officers and county Fire Department personnel have been on the scene since about 8:40 a.m. Traffic on Highway 126 is shut down in both directions, and there are multiple road closures, but I-5 remains open as officials work to clean up an acid spill.
HazMat officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department are working on getting the road clear, and the closures are expected to remain in effect until 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to a CHP press release.
Three deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station are being evaluated for any potential health effects from fume inhalation as a precautionary measure due to the hazardous nature of the chemical that spilled onto the roadway. As of 1:30 p.m., officials are still working to turn over the truck, which was left on its side in the crash.
Officials on scene noted the presence of a strong chemical odor and are advising area businesses, such as SkyHigh Sports, a CalTrans yard and Higher Vision Church, to keep doors and windows closed until the area is cleared. No evacuations have been ordered.
The crash took place when a big rig truck carrying two 2,000-gallon tanks of sodium hydrosulfide, which is also known as clay acid or mud acid, tipped over as it attempted to take to exit Interstate 5 and enter Highway 126 heading westbound at too great a speed, according to preliminary reports.
Christian A. Besamat, 44, of Bakersfield was reported as the driver of the truck.
Sodium hydrosulfide is highly corrosive material used in the leather tanning, pulp and paper, chemical, dye, and mineral extraction industries, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.
There was only one vehicle involved in the crash. The truck has two tanks, but only one tank is reportedly leaking. As of 10:30 a.m., officials were preparing a clean-up effort expected to take several hours.
A section of The Old Road near the spill site is also being shut down, due to concerns about the spill pouring down from an overpass, according to officials.
Deputies from the Santa Clarita, Lancaster, Palmdale and even Malibu stations are assisting on scene due to the volume of closures, said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
The road closures are expected to continue for the next several hours.
No one was hurt in the spill, and no charges were filed against the driver whose identity was not released by officials on scene.
The incident is still under investigation by California Highway Patrol officers, who are handling the response of the incidents.
Updates can also be found on our Facebook page, and Twitter, using the hashtag #MayoIncident.