h ttp://www2.nbc4i.com/cmh/news/traffic/article/hazmat_situation_closes_port ion_of_s.r._161/29501/ A hazmat situation closes a portion of eastbound and westbound state Route 161 Wednesday afternoon. UPDATE: One lane of westbound S.R. 161 opens to traffic after a hazmat situation closed a portion of state Route 161 for hours Wednesday afternoon. By DONNA WILLIS | Web Content Coordinator=09 COLUMBUS, Ohio=97A hazmat situation closed a portion of westbound and eastbound state Route 161 Wednesday afternoon. A box-type truck with hazardous materials caught fire in the westbound lanes of S.R. 161 near Hamilton Road on the city=92s East Side, near New Albany. Plain Township and Columbus fire departments and a hazmat crew responded to the level-1 hazmat situation at about 12:40 p.m. The truck contained seven 55-gallon barrels of toluene (a flammable chemical) and a load of lithium batteries. Six of the seven barrels were full. Toluene is used in consumer products, building materials or furnishings that contribute to indoor air pollution and in pesticide products. The lithium batteries were being hauled for recycling. Apparently, the batteries caused the fire. Chemicals leaked out of the batteries and caught fire when they hit water, according to fire officials. It=92s very flammable and explosive so that=92s why the big concern=97there being out in the open area. It=92s much better because there is nothing else around, said CFD Battalion Chief David Whiting. The fire was contained by 1 p.m. and before it reached the barrels of flammable chemical. Hazmat crews continued to work on cleanup.
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