NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A CSX train collided with a Speedway fuel tanker Tuesday morning in Nashville at 51st Avenue North.
Nashville Fire Department Public Information Officer Kendra Loney said that around 8:30 a.m. the department responded to reports of the collision.
When the train hit the truck, it pierced the side of the fuel tank, resulting in ethanol streaming down 51st Avenue.
"Before our crews arrived, there were lots of vehicles that still had access to the area, causing them to drive through that very flammable, very combustible product, and they were carrying that product along their tires. So our crews quickly set up a perimeter and started evacuations that involved 1,000 feet [within] all areas of this collision," Loney said.
Several businesses and homes were evacuated as well.
"As temperatures start to rise in the day, the ethanol product also becomes more dangerous because heat allows it to become more flammable. If a spark is in that area, it can cause a fire. Those fires can become corrosive and carry vapors and those vapors will travel in the air, which makes it very dangerous," said Loney.
Officials were able to recover 5,000 gallons of ethanol and offload them from the impacted tanker. The exact amount of the gallons spilled on the ground is not certain but officers are working to release that information as they know more.
"Our crews do know how ethanol works, so once that river of sorts started to flow, they allowed the ethanol to do what it does and allowed it to dissipate on its own. Later on, you'll be able to see there's stains on the road from where the ethanol had hit the ground and then evaporated as ethanol does," Loney said.
There remained a strong smell of gas in the air as the Nashville Fire Department and Nashville Office of Emergency Management worked to contain the fuel spill.
There was a little contamination of the product into nearby storm drains, but HAZMAT teams were able to pump out some of the ethanol that got into the drains.
Tarp was used to block the entrance and absorbent material was spread over it to prevent any further contamination of fuel into the water system.
More information will be provided by Nashville officials as HAZMAT workers continue to clean up and clear the scene.
No injuries were reported.