WEST MIFFLIN (KDKA) – A tractor-trailer driver was trapped for several hours after his vehicle overturned early Monday morning.
According to officials, the accident happened around 4:45 a.m. in the 1300-block of New England Road in West Mifflin.
Crews were finally able to free the driver around 8 a.m. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
“He was trapped for several hours. We had to treat him aggressively with some pain medication as well as what we call crush syndrome so he has good outcomes at the end,” Baldwin Paramedics Chief Todd Plunkett said.
Crush syndrome is when the body is compressed for several hours and it can release toxins.
Roughly 50 people were on scene during the rescue process. Emergency responders said they had to literally deconstruct the truck in order to get him out safely.
“We used hydraulic cutters, hydraulic spreaders, hydraulic rams. We also used a subject matter expert on how to move big vehicles like this. Used large cables to take pressure off vehicle,” Plunkett said.
Hazmat crews were called to the scene and six homes in the area were evacuated as a precaution.
After the rescue, the concern was a hazardous chemical called ferrous chloride, which is an acid used in the steel-making process.
Officials say the chemical was diluted, which made it safer for emergency responders to work around.
“Because the tanker truck ended up on the hillside, we’re not 100 percent sure if the tanker truck has been compromised or not. Right now, it’s not actively leaking, but that could be due to how the ground is and just sealing punctures or slices in the tank,” Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services Chief Alvin Henderson said.
“We are going to maintain the scene probably for at least a good portion of this day. This road will be shut down to traffic,” West Mifflin Police Chief Ken Davies said.
New England Road is expected to remain closed near Route 837 through the afternoon rush hour.
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