Crews respond to toxic spill near I-80 in Summit County

A truck has spilled a load of quicklime in Park City, and officials are trying to determine how to safely clean it up on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. Photo: Park City Fire Department

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah, Feb. 28, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Firefighters and HazMat technicians are on the scene of a toxic spill on Bitner Road, just north of Interstate 80, and east of Kimball Junction.

The white substance was spilled by a truck, and spread from the Bitner roundabout and down the westbound side of the roadway, said a tweet posted at about 6:20 p.m. by the Park City Fire Department.

“Bitner Road is being shut down until further notice while the substance is investigated and mitigated, a 5 p.m. post said.

“The white substance that has spilled out on Bitner Road is reported to be 20,000 pounds of quicklime, which is reported to be be both caustic and toxic,” the most recent tweet said.

“PCFD is working with the health dept and clean up companies to determine the best solution to mitigate the product.”

According to Wikipedia, a major use of quicklime is in the basic oxygen steelmaking process, with about 65 to 110 pounds used per ton of steel.

A truck has spilled a load of quicklime in Park City, and officials are trying to determine how to safely clean it up on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. Photo: Park City Fire Department

“Because of vigorous reaction of quicklime with water, quicklime causes severe irritation when inhaled or placed in contact with moist skin or eyes,” the Wikipedia account says.

“Inhalation may cause coughing, sneezing, labored breathing. It may then evolve into burns with perforation of the nasal septum, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.”

Later in the evening, the PCFD tweeted again:

“We are working with other agencies (health dept, clean-up companies, chemical specialists) to mitigate the situation as quickly and safely as possible. Unfortunately we don’t have an estimated time of completion or of opening the road. We will post updates as they are available.”

Drivers are asked to stay out of the area.

Image: Google Maps

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