6 am: Firemen work to contain a slow methanol leak.
Tanker Rollover Prompts Hazardous Material Cleanup, GOODRICH, March 31, 2009 - Shortly before 6 am on March 31, 2009, a tanker 18 wheeler used by Solv Chem out of Pearland and driven by James Bairrington, 63, of Pasadena was in a drive way next to Lone Star Charlie's Restaurant on US-59. Bairrington attempted to make a right turn behind the restaurant. As Bairrington's turn was nearly complete, the back tires on the tanker began to slide sideways and downward in a drainage area, this caused the load in the tanker to shift and the whole rig turned over. The tanker was hauling a chemical called Methanol. The stainless steel tanker which was enroute to Arkansas from Pearland, held together and the only methanol that leaked was around 5 gallons from the top hatch of the chemical tank. Many DPS Troopers were dispatched to the scene in addition to Livingston Fire Chief Corky Cochran, and Livingston Fire Marshall Mark Taylor. The area around the tanker was taped off as emergency personnel worked to determine how to resolve the situation. Later in the morning, Solv Chem brought in another tanker, and a hazardous material crew from DLS Environmental was dispatched to clean up the extremely volatile mess. According to DLS hazmat engineer Richard Lenius, the tanker had a capacity of 8,000 gallons but was carrying approximately 6,000 gallons of methanol. Lenious stated to PolkCountyToday.com that methanol is many times more flammable than gasoline, and is used in the petrochemical industry as an ingredient in resins and also used in gel sanitizers. The crew connected hoses from the turned over tanker to the newly arrived tanker and pumped the methanol leaving the damaged tanker empty and easier and safer to work with. Once the now empty tanker was turned upright, the whole rig was towed by a heavy duty wrecker from Riley's Wrecker Service out of Corrigan. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the operation. The scene was cleared before 4 pm.
A special thank you to PolkCountyToday.com Assignment Editor, Stash Anderson.