A tanker carrying 8,000 gallons of ethanol tipped over Monday afternoon north of Granite City.
The driver, traveling eastbound on I-270, was exiting to go north on Illinois 3 to offload in Wood River when the tanker tipped over early Monday afternoon, Granite City Fire Chief Vince Martinez said.
Bystanders — other motorists — likely helped the man out of his cab, Martinez said, and after he was treated by Granite City firefighters, he was taken by an Arch helicopter to a trauma hospital in St. Louis. His condition was unknown as of Monday evening.
Authorities did not immediately know what caused the truck to overturn.
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The Granite City Fire Department received the call at 2:16 p.m., Martinez said. The Madison County hazardous materials team also responded to deal with a small leak.
After clamping the leak, the haz-mat team proceeded to transfer the ethanol from the tanker to another one, grounding both trucks to eliminate electrical shock before extracting the flammable liquid.
Three tow trucks waited nearby to help turn over the vehicle. Two trucks, using straps and not chains to avoid sparking leftover ethanol, would turn the tanker over, and, as it balanced on the edge of the road, the third tow truck would attach to the tanker, a tow-truck operator explained.
Martinez said the haz-mat commander estimated the off-ramp would be cleared around 8 p.m.