All NB lanes of West Loop at Hempstead reopen after chemical spill

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A chemical leak that shut down all northbound lanes of highway 610 has been contained, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. All lanes were reopened just before 10pm.

The chemical, Xylene, which is highly flammable, began leaking from an 18-wheeler shortly before 5pm. According to TxDOT officials, the chemical leaked into a nearby construction site and went into a drainage system. It's not clear what caused the truck to leak the fluid. No one has been injured.

Traffic was backed up for miles along several Houston highways.

"Oh, I know they're hot. They're just about to explode I can imagine," said truck driver Marcus Crossgrove. "Awe man it's ridiculous."

Some drivers were at a standstill for nearly two hours. Workers nearby the chemical spill site said they were going to stay put until traffic began easing up.

"This is something different definitely," said Ryan Chisam, who said he should have been home hours ago.

An environmental crew will now assess the damage from the leak to the nearby area including that construction drainage system. A TxDOT representative said rush hour traffic Wednesday morning will not be affected.
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