Interstate 10 in Winnie reopens after big rig wreck

WINNIE, Texas - A stretch of busy Interstate 10 in Southeast Texas reopened early Thursday after being closed Wednesday when a tanker-truck overturned and began leaking a flammable liquid.

Texas Department of Transportation officials said the cleanup took so long because the wreck involved ethanol, a hazardous material.

The driver of the truck was slightly hurt in the crash between Hamshire and Winnie near the Jefferson-Chambers county line. The area is about 10 miles southwest of Beaumont and 70 miles east of Houston.

Traffic on the major east-west freeway had to be detoured and the accident prompted a shelter-in-place order for a nearby high school, plus precautionary evacuations of homes and businesses within a two-mile radius.

Officials said the 18-wheeler overturned on Interstate 10 at Highway 73 in Winnie about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The rig spilled about 1,500 gallons of ethanol all over the freeway, according to authorities.

About 10 homes near the crash site were evacuated. Hamshire-Fannett High School was told to shelter-in-place for a short time.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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