Advisories in place while gasoline spill is investigated

Published 11:37 am Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

SALUDA–Precautionary advisories are still in place after thousands of gallons of gasoline spilled along I-26 on July 13. A tanker truck carrying 8,000 gallons of gasoline rolled over, causing a fire that temporarily closed all lanes. 

The accident took place around 5:30 a.m. last Thursday near mile marker 62 westbound, resulting in gasoline leaking into nearby mountain streams and creeks.

Officials said the driver of the tanker truck was conscious and alert after the accident, and was transported to Spartanburg Regional with burn injuries, though his condition at this time is unknown.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

An accident occurred in October 2020 near the same stretch of I-26, where a tanker spilled gasoline and diesel. That tanker was carrying 6,500 gallons of gasoline and 1,000 gallons of diesel.

The recent advisories were issued by the Polk County Health and Human Resources Agency and Polk County Emergency Management in conjunction with North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health and N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources, who are currently investigating to determine the extent of Thursday’s spill to mitigate exposure to Cove Creek and Bradley Falls areas.

At this time, there may be a petroleum smell in the air and an oil sheen on the water, officials say. 

Environmental and public health officials recommend that people avoid swimming, wading or fishing in Cove Creek until further notice. Little Bradley Falls is currently closed until further notice due to potential fuel fumes and potential petroleum product moving downstream. Direct contact with water, soil and sediment in or near the river should be avoided.

For more information, contact Joshua Kennedy with Polk County Health and Human Services at (828) 894-2114.