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I-77 reopens after morning crash, chemical spill

I-77 southbound remains closed.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A deadly accident and chemical spill on I-77 led to significant traffic and even some shelter-in-place advisories near the crash site on Thursday morning.

The information below includes the latest details regarding the crash and the efforts by fire and emergency crews to clear the roads and the chemical - determined to be ammonia sulfate according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP).

What we know so far:

6:29 p.m. - All lanes of Interstate 77 reopen 

2:09 p.m.: Fairfield County Fire crews are leaving the scene of the I-77 crash and chemical spill as highway patrol and a towing company remain. One lane has been reopened on the southbound side. Northbound I-77 fully reopened earlier in the afternoon.

12:46 p.m.: Fairfield County Fire reports that one vehicle has been removed from the scene and a towing and recovery organization is attempting to remove the tractor-trailer. Southbound I-77 remains closed.

10:53 a.m.: I-77 near mile marker 32 has reopened for northbound traffic. However, SCHP Trooper Gary Miller warns the traffic could take some time to return to normal. Drivers should still expect delays and avoid the area if possible.

10:39 a.m.: Fairfield County Fire Services confirms that the fire at the scene of the accident on I-77 has been contained and a shelter-in-place advisory lifted. Fire crews are working with SCHP to get the northbound lanes of I-77 reopened however southbound lanes are still closed.

10:02 a.m.: Fairfield County Fire said the truck in the case was carrying 20,000 pounds of the chemical in its solid form. The department said a fire at the scene is almost out.

9:50 a.m.: Columbia-Richland Fire, which is assisting in the response, said that traffic remains shut down in both directions at mile marker 32. SCHP has detours in place.

9:42 a.m.: Fire crews say they have officially developed an action plan to handle an ongoing fire and chemical spill. Fairfield County Fire Service reports that they do not "expect any immediate danger to life and health" but they are continuing the shelter-in-place advisory for now.

UPDATE: We have identified the product and have developed an action plan. Our crews are working to extinguish the fire...

Posted by Fairfield County Fire Service on Thursday, July 7, 2022

8:28 a.m.: Fairfield County Fire Services added the town of Ridgeway to the shelter-in-place order.

Emergency crews from the City of Columbia have joined Fairfield County Fire Services on the scene. Motorists are asked to avoid the area.

7:51 a.m.: Fairfield County Fire Services has asked everyone within a one-mile radius of the I-77 accident to shelter in place as crews work to clear the area.

Fairfield County Sheriff Will Montgomery said the Fire Service is asking for people in the area to shelter as a precaution. 

Motorists heading north on I-77 from Columbia to Charlotte should be aware all lanes are blocked due to an accident near mile marker 31.

Traffic is being rerouted in the area. 

Northbound traffic should take exit 27 onto Blythewood Road, go left on Blythewood road to US 321, go right on US 321 to SC 34, and right on SC 34 back to I-77 at the 34-mile marker.

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