BUFFALO, W.Va. -- A tractor-trailer overturned and spilled an undetermined amount of a disinfectant chemical across the Buffalo Bridge in Putnam County on Friday.
The bridge and a 4-mile stretch of U.S. 35 from Hurricane Creek to the Mason County line shut down Friday night and reopened early Saturday morning, a Putnam County emergency services dispatcher said.
The box truck was carrying glutaraldehyde, a Dow Chemical product used mainly as a disinfectant for medical and dental equipment, said Frank Chapman, emergency services director for Putnam County.
Chapman said a few houses in the area were evacuated as a precaution but that officials did not believe the chemical posed a threat to people.
Hazmat crews had been trying to keep the chemical out of the Kanawha River, he said.
Glutaraldehyde is not flammable, but it is an irritant that can be mildly toxic, according to a Dow material-safety data sheet. Officials were concerned, though, about an undetermined amount that had spilled into a creek.
Diesel fuel also leaked onto the roadway, West Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Carrie Bly said in a news release.
Several area fire departments and the Putnam County Sheriff's Department were on the scene Friday afternoon, a dispatcher with the Putnam County Ambulance Service said.
Betty Fellure, who lives near the bridge, said she was told the tractor-trailer was carrying chemicals and that emergency responders on the scene had asked people to stay in their vehicles. Fellure said she was told to stay in her home.
Several other vehicle accidents have occurred on this particular stretch of U.S. 35 near her home, she said.