MILLBURY, MA — A Con-Way Freight tandem tractor trailer truck, carrying large, heavy totes of cupric sulfate, overturned Wednesday morning, September 1, at 6:48 a.m. The accident occurred at Exit 11 on the Massachusetts Turnpike in the town of Millbury, located in the Worcester metro area. Millbury is about 23 miles southwest of Framingham and about 42 miles southwest of Boston.
Cupric sulfate is a corrosive liquid that is used in copperplating, wet-cell batteries, insecticides, fungicides and algicides, said Edmund Coletta, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
According to an article at Telegram & Gazette, Mr. Coletta said when the trailers overturned, some of the cupric sulfate spilled inside the trailer through vents in the totes. None of the totes ruptured, and none of the liquid spilled outside the trailer.
A boom crane from Sturbridge Isle Towing and a front-end loader were used to remove the totes. The totes were placed on a flatbed trailer and hauled to the Con-Way facility in Shrewsbury, Mr. Coletta said.
That same heavy equipment worked to upright the truck and trailers.
Officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection assisted in the cleanup. State police said there was no danger to residents or motorists near the accident.
Millbury Fire Chief Matt Belsito said only first tractor trailer truck in the tandem unit was hauling the cupric sulfate; the second trailer was hauling other non-hazardous commodities. Once the second trailer unit was detached, fire personal — dressed in hazmat suits — began tearing down the trailer containing the cupric sulfate, section by section with a saw, he said.
“We had to figure out how to try and lift the trailer, but we soon determined that the trailer would split in half due to all the weight,” Chief Belsito said.
“We successfully completed the removal without any leakage,” Chief Belsito said, noting that the only spill — which he estimated to be a few gallons — was confined to the tractor trailer unit. “This was a multi-agency effort. We all came together and did a terrific job. Everyone worked diligently to mitigate this problem.”
The driver of the tractor trailer was reported to not be seriously injured.
The cause of the accident has not been determined and is being investigated.
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