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DNR addresses contamination concerns following hazard spill

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hazard spill 53

Eau Claire (WQOW) - Authorities are still investigating what caused a semi truck to tip over and spill hazardous material on Highway 53 on Thursday.

A portion of Highway 53 near the Interstate 94 interchange was closed off for nearly eight hours as crews worked to clean up the spill.

The semi truck was hauling 26,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate, 300 gallons of diesel and an unknown amount of dynamite.

Eau Claire police say they are still working to determine what caused the truck to tip over, however they do not believe there is anything suspicious about the crash or the materials involved.

The driver of the truck was taken to an area hospital. There is no word on his current condition.

The DNR says a small amount of diesel fuel ran into a storm drain after the spill.

Eau Claire Fire Department officials said they created dikes and diversions to contain the spilled material and also used absorbents to soak up any fuel in the area.

Jason Schrank, a DNR hydro-geologist, told News 18 less than 10 gallons of diesel leaked into the storm drain.

Schrank said the fuel will either evaporate or soak into the ground as the drain does not run into any drinking water or flow into any local waterways.

He said a quick response from HAZMAT and fire crews will greatly limit any potential impacts.

Schrank said absorbent booms will remain in place to capture any residue diesel that may wash out of the culvert in the coming weeks and the DNR will continue to monitor the area.

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Samantha Wensel

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