The Bellaire Police Department is warning the public to avoid driving through Bellaire near Loop 610 after a gasoline tanker carrying 7,200 gallons of fuel overturned late this morning, causing emergency personnel to close all northbound and southbound lanes.
“A random spark or anything could cause an explosion or pretty major fire,” said Bellaire’s Assistant Police Chief Byron Holloway.
He said police do not know what caused the truck to flip, but they are diverting traffic away from the intersection of the Loop 610 frontage road and Bellaire Boulevard as fire personnel try to clean up the mess.
“It started to leak. Some of the gas leaked into the storm system. We’ve been able to stop that,” Holloway said. “They’re trying to determine how safe it is to approach the truck.”
Loop 610 is completely closed between the Southwest Freeway and Beechnut Street. Holloway said he doesn’t know how long the freeway will be closed. Emergency personnel from Houston, Bellaire, West University Place and state agencies are on scene helping determine what to do about the overturned tanker and deal with the traffic backup.
Another gasoline tanker recently arrived on the scene to try to transfer the remaining fuel from the overturned truck and cart it away from the accident scene, Holloway said.
“Things are happening pretty fast and changing just as fast,” Holloway said. “We are suggesting people detour around the Bellaire area at this time.”