An accident that closed Interstate 95 near Route 141 took an unusual turn this afternoon when authorities decided to burn off the peroxide being carried in a tractor trailer.
The accident involved a pickup truck pulling the trailer bearing the peroxide colliding with a disabled vehicle on the road.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control began burning off the peroxide at the scene shortly after 1 p.m. “so that it posed no further threat to public health or the environment,” a DNREC announcement said.
During the burn, they asked that people within a half-mile of the accident shelter in place.
I-95 was closed in both directions while various agencies worked to clear the scene, once the peroxide was burned off.
The Delaware Department of Transportation at 2:53 p.m. issued a release announcing that southbound lanes were open and predicting that the northbound closure would be an “extended closure due to the HAZMAT situation.”
“Before the decision was made to thermally destroy the peroxide,” DNREC said that officials worked to “to regain temperature control of the organic peroxide” so that it didn’t explode. Some news reports said they did that by putting dry ice on it.
“I live right down the road from that,” Glenn Rembecki wrote on the Facebook page of WDEL’s TrafficWatch. “I see it burning, but I don’t smell nothing. The wind [is] pushing it towards Wilmington and Newport.”
DNREC said no lingering air quality impact is expected.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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