Arizona Authorities Issue Shelter-in-Place Order After Tanker Spills Nitric Acid on Freeway

Kieryn Zizzo via Storyful

Arizona authorities closed a portion of a freeway and issued a shelter-in-place order in the surrounding areas after a commercial truck tanker rolled over on the freeway and spilled nitric acid on Tuesday.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety closed Interstate 10 in Tucson between Rita and Kola Roads in both directions and urged motorists to avoid the area. Pima County officials confirmed the trucker spilled nitric acid when it rolled over on the roadway.

Nitric acid is a corrosive chemical that is used in making dyes, explosives, and fertilizers.

“Exposure to nitric acid can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and mucous membrane; it can also cause delayed pulmonary edema, pneumonitis, bronchitis, and dental erosion,” according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. “Nitric acid is highly corrosive. Workers may be harmed from exposure to nitric acid.”

In addition to closing the affected freeway portions, Arizona officials directed everyone within a one-mile radius of the spill to shelter in place.

“Reminder: This will be an extensive closure. Motorists in the Tucson area should anticipate an impact on their Wednesday morning commute,” the Arizona Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

“Unified Command has evacuated a one half mile perimeter around the incident. Unified Command has directed to shelter in place within one mile around the incident,” the agency added.

The Arizona trucker spill comes more than one week after a train traveling near East Palestine, Ohio, derailed, leading officials to hold a “controlled release” of five derailed train cars containing vinyl chloride to prevent a “catastrophic explosion.”

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter.


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