UPDATE (4 p.m.): The Kern County Fire Department said one of the trucks was carrying 4,000 pounds of ferric chloride solution at the time of the crash, which caused a leak.
The department said ferric chloride is a corrosive substance that is toxic if swallowed. It’s primary use is as a water treatment chemical. An estimated 3,000 gallons of product spilled from the tank, the department said.
Firefighters were able to avoid contact with the chemical and rapidly removed the unconscious driver from the semi truck that the tanker collided with so he could get medical treatment.
The driver of the tanker truck was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and taken to a hospital for treatment, KCFD said.
UPDATE: Southbound I-5 lanes are now open, northbound I-5 lanes are still closed, that is according to CHP Bakersfield’s twitter account.
FORT TEJON, Calif. (KGET) – At around 7:37 a.m., the California Highway Patrol responded to a big rig accident carrying a toxic substance on northbound I-5 at Lebec Road.
When officers arrived, they immediately started closing Interstate 5 due the hazardous material leaking into the roadway.
Both directions of I-5 are currently closed. CHP officials are asking to avoid traveling through the area or finding an alternate route.
Officers said the Kern County Fire Department is also responding to see if the scene is safe.
At this time the injuries are unknown.
This is a developing story, we will provide updates when new information is available.