LAS VEGAS -- A bit of desert "carmageddon" hit the California-Nevada state line early Friday after a tanker crash and chemical spill forced the closure of busy Interstate 15, the main artery between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Highway patrol officials from both states said that a single northbound lane was opened heading into Las Vegas a few hours after the 6:30 a.m. accident between a tanker truck and a car. But the southbound lanes remained closed Friday morning, causing a nearly 10-mile-long backup into Nevada.
Officials hope to open a lane into California in the afternoon. Meanwhile motorists were taking detours around the mishaps.
Officials said the wreck happened several miles south of the state line town of Primm, Nev., where the Nevada highway patrol has erected a roadblock. The California Highway Patrol has northbound traffic stopped at Yates Well Road, Exit 291.
“So far, people seem to be doing pretty good,” said Nevada State Highway Patrol spokesman Loy Hixson. “Weather isn’t too hot yet, so many people are just turning around at Primm. We have billboards up to warn motorists. People are being patient.”
CHP spokesman trooper Adam Croxton said no one was hurt in the crash or from the spill. He said a hazardous materials crew was summoned to neutralize and remove 4,100 gallons of a liquid industrial corrosive called ferric chloride from the median.