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Tractor-trailer carrying dynamite crashes on I-85 in N.C.

Posted at 12:21 PM, Oct 22, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-22 12:21:28-04

by Ryan Sullivan

ARCHDALE, N.C. (WGHP) — Police say a tractor-trailer hauling dynamite overturned Monday morning on I-85 in Randolph County.

According to Randolph County EMS, the crash happened shortly after 6:45 a.m. in the northbound lanes of the interstate at Mile Marker 111 near Main Street / U.S. Highway 311 near High Point.

The driver of the Orica USA Inc. truck was taken to High Point Regional Hospital, then flown to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.  His condition is unknown at this time.

The truck was carrying an ammonium nitrate slurry and blasting caps. As of 11 a.m., all of the elements inside the truck were “stable” and all ignition sources had been eliminated.

A crew is scheduled to arrive from Charlotte around noon, at which point workers will begin separating the blasting caps from the ammonium nitrate. Once this is done, crews will be able to clear the interstate for drivers. 

Authorities initially diverted traffic from both directions of the interstate onto Main Street.  A DOT spokesperson said the closure was expanded due to heavy traffic conditions.

Southbound drivers are being redirected at Exit 118 onto Business 85 South in Guilford County.  Northbound drivers are being sent onto U.S. 64 at Exit 96 in Davidson County, and then north onto Business 85.

DOT officials estimated it will be 6 p.m. before the northbound lanes of I-85 North reopen.

Officials recommended evacuating buildings and homes within 1/2 mile of the intersection of Archdale Road and I-85.

A Randolph County Schools spokeswoman said Trindale Elementary School was evacuated at the request of authorities.  The students have been taken to Archdale Elementary School. 

Parents are able pick up their children from Archdale Elementary School, however it is not mandatory that they do so.

A spokeswoman with the Randolph County Board of Elections said the one-stop early voting site on Balfour Drive in Archdale would be temporarily closed. Early voting sites at the Board of Elections Office and the Randolph County Office Building in Asheboro remain open.

No other details were immediately available.