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Acid Spill Prompts Road Closures, Detours

A crew from Conewango Township drops another load of dirt onto a sulfuric acid spill Thursday on Route 62 in North Warren. Photo by Brian Ferry

A tanker truck leaked acid on roadways in the City of Warren and North Warren on its way to New York State on Thursday, resulting in traffic delays and precautionary measures.

According to Conewango Township Police Chief Jason Peters, who was at the scene of the North Warren leak from just south of the intersection of Route 62 and Warren Commons Drive to the Hampton Inn and Suites, the material spilled was sulfuric acid.

That spill could be seen as an area of darkened pavement a little to the right of the center of the outside lane.

There was no sign that the truck continued to spill acid as it continued north, according to officials.

The truck was stopped in New York State, according to Warren County Public Safety Director Ken McCorrison.

Traffic on Route 62 in North Warren is backed up Thursday afternoon after a tanker spilled sulfuric acid there and in the City of Warren. Photo by Brian Ferry

That the material was sulfuric acid was considered good news by those responding. Peters said an initial report indicated that the spill involved hydrochloric acid. Officials were initially advising motorists and responders to keep their distance.

The sulfuric acid did not pose a significant airborne threat, although the smell could be detected from a short distance.

The acid was soaking into pavement where it was spilled – another positive. No pools of acid were evident. City of Warren Police advised those passing through the areas of the spills to not touch nor drive through any of the material.

City and Conewango Township crews dealt with the spills.

In the City of Warren, crews used an absorbent material provided by Koebley Towing, according to McCorrison.

Conewango Township workers dumped loads of dirt on the outside northbound lane of Route 62 to absorb the spill.

“Cinders would not absorb it,” Peters said. “It had to be clean sand or earth.”

Clean-up efforts will be billed to the trucking company, according to officials.

In North Warren, Conewango Township Police, North Warren Volunteer Fire Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, and PennDOT responded, in addition to the township crew.

The initial call went out at 2:15 p.m.

“There are multiple roadways closed with detours from United Refining through the City to the New York state line due to a hazmat situation,” according to a City Police release Thursday afternoon.

In North Warren, both northbound lanes of Route 62 were shut down from Jackson Run Road to North State Street for just over an hour.

Southbound traffic was allowed to pass, using only the outside lane during that time.

Northbound traffic was allowed to proceed, using the median, at about 3:25 p.m.

The closure of one northbound lane continued. According to McCorrison, PennDOT placed cones and a sign to indicate traffic should continue only in the inside northbound lane.

“A cleanup company is coming from New York State,” he said Thursday evening. The closure will remain in effect until that cleanup process is complete.

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