ARCHDALE, N.C. -- A truck carrying hazardous materials overturned Monday morning on Interstate 85 in Randolph County.
Authorities shut down the interstate and detoured drivers between Hopewell Church Road and U.S. 311 in the Archdale area. The sheriff's office said the truck rolled just before 7 a.m. and went off the side of the road.
Emergency crews said the truck was carrying ammonium nitrate, which is an oxidizer for explosives and is also used as a fertilizer, so they evacuated people within a half-mile radius of the intersection of Interstate 85 and Archdale Road.
Evacuees went to the Archdale Recreation Center off Park Drive. The evacuation includes Trindale Elementary School on Balfour Drive. The students are safe and were moved to Archdale Elementary School nearby.
Multiple agencies are at the scene of the crash, including a Hazmat team. NCDOT said because of heavy traffic conditions on the original detour route, more of the interstate was closed to traffic.
Southbound motorists are being diverted off the highway at Exit 118 onto Business 85 South in Guilford County. Northbound traffic is being sent onto U.S. 64 at Exit 96 in Davidson County, and then north onto Business 85.
Orica USA, which owns the truck, issued this statement:
"This morning an Orica USA Inc. truck carrying equipment and materials from a local facility was involved in a single-vehicle accident on I-85 near Archdale, North Carolina.
"Orica personnel are on the scene and are working closely with emergency responders. The truck was carrying blasting materials for use at a local mining quarry site.
"The materials onboard the truck are classified by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as an oxidizer (which has the same chemical composition as a fertilizer.) There are less than 100 pounds of explosives on the truck, and we are working to safely remove this from the scene.
Based on the latest information, it is not likely that the truck will ignite or detonate. The design of the truck segregates the materials to limit the chance of ignition. Some diesel fuel has leaked at the scene, and responders on scene are mitigating the risk.
"The driver sustained injuries and has been transported to a local hospital for evaluation. He is conscious and communicating with medical staff. We are thankful that there were no other injuries related to this incident.
"The cause of the incident is still under investigation. We are working with local authorities to mitigate the effects of the incident and we will cooperate fully with the investigation."