Overturned methanol tanker causes road closure, Hazmat cleanup

An overturned tanker caused road closures at the Liberty-Polk county line on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)

A tanker carrying highly-flammable methanol flipped over on FM 2610 at the Menard Creek Bridge near the Liberty-Polk County line around 2:15 p.m. Monday, causing the hours-long closure of FM 2610 just north of Romayor, according to Liberty County Fire Marshal Bill Hergemueller.

Diesel and motor oil leaked out of the overturned tanker into Menard Creek but the methanol tank itself was not breached. However, the methanol must be offloaded into another tanker before the accident scene can be cleared from the road, Hergemueller said.

“The accident happened just inside Polk County. We have North Liberty County Volunteer Fire Department and South Polk County Volunteer Fire Department assisting a Hazmat team out of LaPorte,” the fire marshal said. “They will likely use booms and some type of inhibitor to break down the oil and diesel that got into the creek, and then vacuum it up.”

No loss of life was reported.

“Methanol is highly explosive, which is why they are handling it with caution,” he said.

The damage to the Menard Creek Bridge is unknown at this time.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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