Oil spill on I-95 makes life miserable

Posted: May 25, 2007

A tanker truck overturned on I-95 late yesterday morning, spilling as much as 1,000 gallons of home heating oil and closing the southbound lanes in Delaware County for more than four hours.

The accident happened between the West Chester and Market Street exits in Lower Chichester, according to Charlie Metzger, a PennDot spokesman.

Traffic was rerouted to I-476 and Routes 1 and 452.

Gladys Carter and Ella Felker, crossing guards for the Chester-Upland School District, had their work cut out for them as traffic surged through nearby side streets.

Felker said that there were triple the amount of cars on Highland Avenue in Chester as they assisted children leaving Columbus Elementary School at the corner of Highland Avenue and Seventh Street.

"There was cars going this way, going that way, going everywhere," said Carter.

At 4 p.m., traffic on Route 291 South, heading toward Marcus Hook and Delaware, was at a crawl, but by 4:30 p.m., I-95 was was mostly clear of tie-ups near the scene of the accident.

According to the Boothwyn Fire Department, a call came in at about 11:15 a.m. regarding an overturned tanker truck.

The driver, who was not injured, was being questioned by the State Police late yesterday, according to PennDot.

Firefighters called in local hazardous-material response units to control the spill. Fire departments from Boothwyn, Aston, Upper Chichester and Middletown were at the scene.

The accident happened almost nine years to the day - May 23, 1998 - when another tanker overturned and spilled 8,000 gallons of fuel on the interstate bridge over Chester Creek. The fuel caught fire and melted support beams. Part of the highway was closed for about a month while repairs were made. The entire southbound side of the bridge was replaced.


Contact staff writer Mari A. Schaefer at 610-892-9149 or mschaefer@phillynews.com.

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