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November 25, 2015

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All lanes on I-15 reopened after accident, authorities report

Updated Friday, June 22, 2012 | 5:21 p.m.

Accident shuts down I-15

All lanes of Interstate 15 near the Nevada-California state line are now open after a tractor-trailer overturned early this morning and spilled a hazardous load, officials say.

As of 4:40 p.m., the California Highway Patrol posted that all lanes were reopened on the interstate.

Trooper Jermaine Elliot of the Nevada Highway Patrol said traffic is still stop-and-go from the state line to St. Rose Parkway.

The California Transportation Department's District 8 office tweeted shortly before 1 p.m. today that the southbound lanes had reopened.

The accident occurred shortly before 6:30 a.m. on I-15 about 5 miles south of Primm, according to California Highway Patrol accident logs. About 4,100 gallons of ferric chloride were spilled when the truck overturned.

Ferric chloride is an industrial chemical often used in wastewater treatment. The chemical, also known as iron chloride, is corrosive and heats up when it comes in contact with water or acid, the Associated Press has reported. The chemical can cause burns, eye injuries and respiratory damage.

The California Highway Patrol closed I-15 in both directions for about 2 1/2 hours. By midmorning, southbound lanes continued to be closed but authorities reopened one lane of the interstate to northbound traffic shortly before 10 a.m. By noon, officials had opened one lane of southbound traffic. At the time, the California Highway Patrol reported, southbound traffic on I-15 was backed up a 7 miles, past Primm, Nev.

Caltrans said northbound traffic continued to be restricted to one lane near the accident site.

Trooper Jeremie Elliott of the Nevada Highway Patrol said motorists on their way west on I-15 out of Nevada had few options to bypass the congestion.

"They can try to go down U.S. 95 through Searchlight and take the Nipton cutoff, but that's quite a detour," he said.

California Highway Patrol was reporting some motorists had their way during the closure by off-roading through the desert.

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