PHOTOS: Tipped Tractor-Trailer Filled with Propane Tied Up Traffic for 9 Hours
TILTON — A tractor-trailer truck that tipped over tying up traffic at a busy intersection took nine hours to clean up Tuesday.
Emergency crews responded to the intersection of Route 140 and Laconia Road at 10:50 a.m. where they found the fully loaded propane tanker on its side in front of the Tilt'n Diner. The tractor towing the supply tanker had a fuel leak and the tank had over 30,000 gallons of liquid propane on board, prompting a call for assistance from the New Hampshire Office of Emergency Management, State Police, the Department of Transportation, Central New Hampshire Hazmat and several local police agencies.
During this time, approximately 75 to 100 stores near Exit 20 of Interstate 93, including Tanger Outlets had to be evacuated and the Tilt'n Diner closed. Several lanes of traffic also had to be closed off as well as Exit 20 Northbound.
"Amazingly during the entire incident, no was injured, to include the driver, and all the first responders did an excellent job keeping everyone safe," wrote Police Chief Robert Cormier in a prepared press release. "It was a very technical and potentially dangerous accident scene requiring a lot of resources to manage it.
"I also want to thank all the stores and their employee’s for their cooperation during this incident, and also, we greatly appreciate the public's patience while in traffic as a result of this accident."
The liquid propane was off-loaded onto a new tanker and the vehicle was up-righted by a special heavy trucking recovery company before the scene was cleared at 8:25 p.m.
“This was a great collaboration between all involved agencies, and we received great support and understanding from our local businesses,” Tilton-Northfield firefighter Matt Gilman said in a prepared statement that thanked McDonald's and the Tilt'n Diner for supporting the first responders.
The truck belongs to Northern Gas Transport Co. in Lyndonville, Vermont.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact the Tilton Police Department at 603-286-4442.