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Chemical Truck Fire Prompts Evacuation in Birmingham

by Phil Helsel /

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An area around a Birmingham, Alabama, interstate was evacuated Wednesday as a precaution after a tractor-trailer carrying chemicals got into an accident and exploded in a fireball, authorities said.

There were no injuries in the incident on Interstate 20/59 northbound, which began when two trucks collided at around 6:18 p.m. and one of them began leaking chemicals, police said.

The truck, carrying hydrogen peroxide, sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid, later exploded, sending a huge fireball into the sky, NBC affiliate WVTM reported.

An area within half a mile of the wreck was evacuated, according to WVTM, and northbound lanes of the highway were shut down.

Birmingham police said the chemical spill may not be cleaned up until the morning.

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