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Propane Truck Rollover Closes Major Highways In Seattle

A tanker truck carrying propane rolled over on a major Seattle highway Monday, shutting area roads for about eight hours amid concerns about a hazardous materials spill.

The semi-truck rolled on a southbound lane that feeds into Interstate 5 downtown shortly after 10 a.m., The Seattle Times reported .

The truck driver told the Washington State Patrol that traffic in front of him slowed and he was unable to stop, plowing into four other vehicles and causing him to roll over. The truck driver suffered minor injuries.

The freeway between Interstate 90 and the West Seattle bridge and Interstate 90 at the stadiums remained closed while a Seattle Fire Department hazardous materials team oversaw the transfer of fuel from the rolled tanker to an empty tanker.

The closures caused gridlock around the area as motorists spilled onto surrounding streets.

Images taken from King TV's helicopter showed the white tanker truck on its side and several other damaged vehicles.

A taco truck that was stuck on opened for business around lunchtime, serving tacos to other motorists stopped on the interstate.

"I got out and was walking around, and I see this lady walking back to her car with a to-go box," said Rachael McQuade, of Federal Way, who with her husband, Mike, was caught in the backup.

McQuade said she stood with a line of people and ordered two steak and two chicken tacos for her husband.

Additionally, the Seattle area was under a National Weather Service winter weather advisory Monday and heavy rain mixed with snow also hampered the evening commute.

In another incident, a rolled-over logging truck blocked westbound I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass for several hours.


This story has been corrected to show the truck was carrying propane, not butane, as state transportation officials had said previously.