Tanker holding explosive materials overturns, closing portion of Highway 222 in Pitt County

PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Part of a highway in the east is closed in both directions Friday morning after an accident involving a tanker carrying explosive materials overturned.

The Highway Patrol says a tanker truck overturned, closing a section of Highway 222 outside of Fountain.

The 18-wheeler is carrying ammonium nitrate, chemicals used in explosions at sites like rock quarries. Pitt County Emergency Services says each chemical is separated within the truck.

A minor leak from the truck occurred, but officials say it was controlled.

Troopers say William Hernan, of Clinton, was traveling east when he lost control of his truck, overturned, and spilled the chemicals he was hauling.

WITN is told officials including North Carolina Hazardous Materials Regional Response team out of Williamston are on site.

The section of highway near Bell Road is closed between Dunn Road and Highway 258. The Highway Patrol says it will be closed until further notice.

The 31-year-old Hernan was taken to ECU Health Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

County officials say there is no immediate threat to public safety or wildlife and no serious injuries.

All drivers are asked to avoid the area as crews work to clear the scene and reopen the roadway.