UPDATE (7:05 p.m.): 

Interstate 10 East at Williams Boulevard in Kenner has re-opened after crews cleaned gasoline spilled onto the roadway after a tank truck crashed Friday afternoon. 

Louisiana State Police said all lanes are also open on I-310.


ORIGINAL STORY

A tank truck that crashed in Kenner and began leaking gasoline onto Interstate 10 snarled traffic for hours, forcing a huge cleanup effort and causing at least one other crash along the interstate, officials said.

The tanker crash happened around 2 p.m. Friday when the Lavigne Logistics truck attempted to enter the interstate, said Doug Dodt, the city of Kenner’s Director of Emergency Management.

It appeared that the driver of the truck appeared to lose control, and the trailer struck a support to the bridge over the interstate, Dodt said, breaking the rear axle and sending the trailer back into the entrance ramp where it began leaking gasoline.

Officials closed the entrance ramps from Williams Boulevard to I-10 East around 2:15 p.m. and urged motorists to avoid the area and take alternate routes.

Fire, police, hazardous materials and cleanup crews responded, placing sand on the roadway and trying to wash the gasoline off the road.

The State Department of Transportation and Development also sent a crew, and a foam truck from St. Bernard Parish was also brought in as a precaution, Kenner officials said.

The company that owned the truck, Lavigne Logistics, of Baton Rouge, have contacted a cleanup company, Kenner fire officials said.

Officials warned however, that some of the gasoline might have made its way into the parish’s drainage canals and said crews at the stations were notified and containment boom had been placed at pumping stations in case it was needed.

Traffic congestion was extremely heavy in the area, which includes Louis Armstrong International Airport, leading airport officials to urge motorists to leave early and be patient due to the bad traffic.

The effects in some cases went beyond congestion: several hours after the initial crash, a driver appeared to slow down in the westbound I-10 lanes near the scene of the tanker crash, spawning a series of “three or four” crashes involving several vehicles, Dodt said.

First responders at the scene of the tanker crash hopped the barrier and tended to the injured in those crashes, he added.

Cleanup of the spill was expected to take several hours.