Hazmat team called to a tractor trailer accident on I-81 South in Botetourt County


UPDATE 11:26 p.m.: A hazmat team was called to mile marker 150 on I-81 South, the Troutville exit, to the scene of a tractor trailer accident involving a shipment of industrial sized batteries.

The trailer toppled over around 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28. Within minutes, first responders were on the scene.

Traffic was held up for miles. There was a detour route set in place by VDOT workers, but traffic flow did not start back up on I-81 South until around 8:30 p.m.

The contents inside this trailer made the crash different from a crash that’s typically seen on I-81. What first responders had to do was go into the trailer and move the hazardous material from the toppled trailer to another trailer to be disposed of properly.

It’s a process that, according to Botetourt County Fire and EMS Chief Deputy Jeff Powell, can add hours to a normal cleanup time.

“Our first job is to protect life, but we’re also here to protect the environment and make sure there’s no environmental impact or runoff,” Powell said at the time of crews just going into the overturned trailer. “We’ve already seen some of the batteries arcing. We know there’s a significant acid spill inside of the trailer, and we’re going to work safely but quickly to resolve that situation.”

There were multiple agencies and organization, including VDOT, Virginia State Police, Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office, Botetourt County Fire and EMS, and Troutville VFD.

TROUTVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — There is a back-up on I-81 South at mile marker 150 near the Troutville exit. 

Police report a tractor-trailer is on its side. There is no word on injuries, but ramps are closed.

Reports from the scene say it may take up to 10 hours to clear the accident. 

More as it becomes available.

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