Note: This story was updated at 6:45 p.m.
Authorities investigated a truck shipment labeled radioactive after a driver was reported ill on Wednesday afternoon, and they found the shipment was routine and posed no threat to the public, the Oak Ridge Fire Department said.
The Oak Ridge Fire Department responded to the call of the truck driver who was ill on Oak Ridge Turnpike near Newport Drive at about 11:50 a.m. Wednesday.
When they arrived, firefighters saw the truck and its flatbed trailer were transporting hazardous waste, so as they evaluated the patient, the Fire Department said in a City of Oak Ridge press release.
Firefighters also followed procedure to evaluate the shipment to ensure there was no association with the truck driver’s illness, the press release said.
“Officials closed that section of the Oak Ridge Turnpike as a precautionary measure until the patient could be evaluated and transported to the local hospital,” the press release said. “The truck was relocated off of the state highway to a city parking lot for additional evaluation and the highway was re-opened.”
The truck was moved to a parking lot by the dog park and Katie Hunter Field at Big Turtle Park.
“This was a routine shipment and posed no threat to the public,” the press release said. “The evaluation of the shipment was also standard operating procedure to ensure the shipment was not related to the medical problem. The shipment was escorted to the final destination in Oak Ridge by the police and fire departments due to the nature of the incident.”
The shipment included two cargo containers, and it was taken to Toxco on Flint Road in central Oak Ridge at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. It’s not clear what was in the cargo containers, if anything. Toxco repackages low-level radioactive waste.
The city sent out a Nixle alert message to notify people of the road closure between Montana Avenue and Newport Drive at about noon Wednesday.
“If there had been any threat to the public, a CodeRed Emergency Notification would have been issued to the community with appropriate instructions as to what action should be taken,” the press release said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See previous story and photos here.