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Shelter-in-place ordered in Arizona following nitric acid spill

Posted at 11:41 AM, Feb 15, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — People who live within three miles of a crash on Interstate-10 near Tucson, Arizona, have been asked to shelter in place due to potentially hazardous material in the air.

According to the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and Tucson Fire, the truck that overturned in the crash spilled a load of nitric acid. The driver of the truck died.

Numerous local and state agencies responded to the scene on Tuesday. People who live closest to the crash site were evacuated "out of an abundance of caution."

Authorities have spent nearly a full day trying to clear the wreckage.

Gas was released overnight as crews attempted to remove the load from the wrecked vehicle.

People in the area were originally asked to avoid using heaters and air conditioning units because they may bring in outside air. However, officials later gave the OK to resume using them.

Emergency alert

According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure to nitric acid can cause irritation to the eyes and skin. It cal also cause "delayed pulmonary edema, pneumonitis, bronchitis, and dental erosion."