Tanker truck rollover closes roundabout in Ottumwa

UPDATE: The smell of methanol was in the air Tuesday morning after a tanker truck rolled over on the Highway 34 roundabout, spilling 7,800 gallons of the chemical.

The incident happened around 7 a.m. Tuesday. The driver has been identified as John Green from Kahoka, Missouri. Green had just filled up his tank in Eddyville before the accident. The owner of the company came up from Kahoka to survey the damage. Green was uninjured in the crash, but has been charged with failure to maintain control, a misdemeanor.

When KTVO was at the scene, crews had already been out here for about an hour trying to clean things up. Ottumwa Fire Chief Tony Miller said clean-up would take well into the afternoon. OFD was joined by the Wapello County Rural Fire Department, Public Works Department and Emergency Management on scene.

"We'll probably be here until the middle of the afternoon because there was some product spilled, the saddle tanks were leaking and it's just a matter of getting the stuff picked up," Chief Miller said. "The DNR has been called, they always get called on these situations, so they'll be en route."

For the groups on scene, it was a routine hazmat situation. They train together for incidents like these that require collaboration. As soon as the call came in, OFD called Wapello Rural for assistance.

"We don't have the big water tank like they have, so we called them as a mutual aid call," Miller said. "We train with Wapello County and the street department does a great job of assisting us as well."

"The communication between police, fire and public works has always been really good and we work good together," said Steve Edgington, Director of Ottumwa Public Works Department. "And things have went well."

The truck was uprighted around 10:45 a.m. Cleanup will continue into the next few days to soak up the chemicals that seeped into the ground.

A tanker truck rollover in Ottumwa Tuesday morning closed the U.S. Highway 34/U.S. Highway 63 roundabout for several hours.

The tanker truck out of Missouri was carrying methanol.

Crews worked to pump the flammable liquid into another tanker.

There were no reports of injuries to the driver of the semi.

As of noon Tuesday, the Iowa Department of Traveler Information website reported that U.S. 34 in both directions was open.