Acid spill in fatal wreck near Caddo stymies cleanup efforts

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CADDO, Okla. (KXII) -- Two Oklahoma highways remain closed Thursday, following a fatality wreck and chemical spill on U.S. near Caddo.

Northbound U.S. Highway 69 /75 reopened Thursday morning, but the highway is still closed in the southbound direction. State Highway 22 bridge is still closed.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said they believe the bridge will need emergency repairs, but have not been able to get in and make a full inspection of the damage.

The closures prompted Caddo's superintendent to cancel Thursday classes for the district .

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers arrived on scene Wednesday to assist Caddo Police Department with a fatality accident involving a commercial vehicle.

Hazmat crews were called to the scene of a chemical spill caused by a deadly semi crash this afternoon in Bryan County

Because the CDC says the chemical is strong enough to cause serious skin burns and a burning sensation if inhaled.

"We have had some reports of follow-on exposures and we have responded emergency personnel to those locations."

First responders tell us at least 6 people were exposed to the sulfuric acid, suffering minor skin irritations.
But the chemical can be deadly.

"Extremely dangerous if you've suffered a significant exposure."

OHP Lieutenant Scott Hampton says a half-mile perimeter around the crash site has been closed off until haz-mat cleans up the acid.
But the clean-up could take a while.

"Could be four to six hours to days depending on the amount of material released and what the material is," Hampton said.

Emergency officials say they're not sure what kind of damage the chemical spill and crash have done to the roads.

"Its own characteristics that can be seen but it all depends on your level of exposure," Hampton said.

"The damage to the bridge...we really don't have a good feel for that just yet until the scene can be cleared and its deemed safe because of the chemical spill."

ODOT says their main concern is the bridge, and what the repairs will need to be made.

"You can see some damage but until the site is deemed safe enough people to enter and take a look we just simply don't know," said ODOT Division Engineer Anthony Echelle.

They say they're ready to begin working as soon as they get the green-light.

"Depends on the magnitude of the damage, but I would expect that soon we would have a repair underway," Echelle said.

Troopers don't yet know what caused the semi to crash, but confirm that the driver was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene.

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