David Kidwell  /  AP
A tractor trailer carrying hydrofluoric acid sits on its side on Route 33 south near Wind Gap, Pa., on Saturday. Authorities ordered some 5,000 people in and around a northeastern Pennsylvania town to evacuate.
updated 3/21/2009 11:53:24 AM ET 2009-03-21T15:53:24

Authorities ordered about 5,000 people surrounding a northeastern Pennsylvania town to evacuate after a tractor-trailer carrying a hazardous chemical overturned.

A tanker truck carrying more than 16 tons of corrosive hydrofluoric acid overturned early Saturday outside Wind Gap, about 60 miles north of Philadelphia, officials said.

Hazardous materials teams wore full protection suits as they worked to stop the slowly dripping liquid, said John Conklin, spokesman for Northhampton County.

The truck driver was treated for injuries and released, Conklin said. There were no other immediate reports of injuries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hydrofluoric acid in low doses can irritate the eyes, nose, and respiratory tract. Inhalation can be fatal.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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