SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) — First responders are evacuating people who are within a half-mile of burning wreckage left from an Interstate 95 crash near exit 95 involving a tractor trailer hauling hazardous materials, officials said.
A ten-mile stretch of the road, from exit 87 to 97 is closed.
The wreck, which happened at about 1:30 p.m., caused an explosion and is still burning, officials said. The tractor trailer was hauling an acidic substance, Jeremy Daughtry of the Smithfield Fire Department said. Officials plan to let the fire burn out on its own, According to the N.C. Department of Transportation.
There are also two other accidents in the area that don’t involve hazardous materials, state transportation officials said. The road is also closed in both directions and drivers are advised to avoid the area. A hazmat team from Raleigh is on its way, Daughtry said.
Some drivers who were stuck in their cars near the wreck were told to leave their cars and evacuate, Daughtry said.
Johnston County Community College was evacuated about 2 p.m. because of what school officials described as “a tanker truck accident” on Interstate 95.
The community college confirmed the evacuation on social media. All classes for the remainder of the day and tonight are cancelled.
The Johnston County school system has evacuated its central office, early college, middle college and south campus facilities.
Law enforcement contacted the school district recommending the evacuations, system spokeswoman Tracey Peedin Jones said.
Workers will have to assess the roadway for damage before it can be reopened, state transportation officials said.