Overturned tanker truck causes traffic nightmare near Linden

Posted: Updated:

An overturned tanker truck caused major traffic delays in and around Linden for most of Wednesday.

The truck overturned on Routes 1 and 9 around 8:30 a.m. Thursday near South Stiles Street. It was carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline, most of which spilled out on to the roadway and into the sewer grates, running underground.

Officials say that the truck driver was attempting to make a left turn from Stiles Street on to Route 1 when the truck tipped over. He escaped with only minor injuries. 

Officials closed the roadway for hours while some area businesses were evacuated. Traffic in the area backed up for miles.

The Union County hazmat team was called to the scene to contain the spill. Crews used sand to absorb the fuel. Crews are also monitoring the fuel vapors in the area and underground in order to prevent the fumes from igniting.

Route 1 northbound has been reopened, while the southbound side is expected to open overnight.

"Once we are comfortable that we have everything dealt with and there's no opportunity for vapors to get someplace and start a fire, then we will open that highway,” says Linden Fire Chief Joseph Dooley

Families were able to slowly make it home for the evening using alternate routes. But some of the area businesses owners say that they were struggling to get customers due to the road closures.

"It has been slow as you would imagine. The only way you can go in is through the back but we are staying open and going along with it,” says Applebee’s manager Jessica Perlman.

Officials say that everything should be back to normal by Thursday’s morning commute.

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