Three miles of State Road 60 in Central Florida were closed Tuesday after 1,000 gallons of sulfuric acid and spilled with salt rocks from a truck’s flatbed during a crash, combining to release harmful gas into the air.
The driver of the Davis Supply vehicle, Eric Scott Garland of Wauchula, was injured when he fell into the acid as he tried to warn a driver to stop before the spill, according to the Lakeland Ledger. He was treated for second-degree burns on his legs and feet.
ABC Action News reportsGarland was driving just east of Bartow at 5:45 a.m., when he braked hard at a red light, causing tanks filled with the acid to fall onto the road and surrounding grass.
"For whatever reason, when he stopped, they continued and now we have sulfuric acid in the road and in the median, in the soil," said Brad Ruhmann, a Polk County Fire rescue spokesman, adding that the acid is “very dangerous" if it comes in contact with skin or is inhaled.
The truck was also carrying salt rocks, which created a harmful gas when they came into contact with the sulfuric acid spilled on the ground, according to the Ledger report. Polk County Fire and Rescue officials said much of the harmful gas dissipated quickly, apparently thanks to windy conditions.
State Road 60 was reopened later Tuesday afternoon after a hazardous materials team was able to neutralize and clean up the spill, Tampa Bay Online reports.