Some 8,200 gallons of fuel spilled out of a capsized tanker Sunday in an incident that evacuated homes and shut down swaths of the city for more than 12 hours, authorities said.
Belton Police Chief Tommy Clamp said the semitruck was heading into Belton at 8:45 a.m. when it overturned at the intersection of Thompson and North Main streets near the town square.
The impact ripped a hole in the tanker, causing fuel to spew out onto the roadway, Clamp said.
He said approximately 80 people from multiple EMS, police and fire departments responded, including crews from Williamston, Cheddar, Honea Path, Friendship and Anderson County Emergency Management.
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A hazardous materials team and the state Department of Health and Environmental Control were also on the scene. The American Red Cross brought lunch.
Several nearby residences and an assisted living facility were evacuated while five city blocks from Smythe to River streets were shut down for most of the day.
Authorities said there was no immediate threat to the public.
By late afternoon, the spill, which Clamp said contained a combination of gasoline and diesel fuel, had been contained to a hole dug in the ground. A second tanker and pump was used to empty the the overturned truck before it was towed from the roadway.
Authorities said the process would take at least 12 hours.
"That's just one of those things that takes a lot of time to do it correctly and safely," Clamp said.
Besides the truck driver, no other injuries were reported.
The driver was "walking and talking" when he was treated by EMS at the scene, according to Clamp. He said investigators are working to determine how the accident happened after the driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle that then struck an embankment, causing it to flip over.
The accident was still under investigation Sunday night. No charges had been filed.