WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Michele McGinnis and her neighbors near I-235 and Meridian got an unusual emergency notification on their phones Thursday morning.

"Shelter in place until further notice. Monitor local media for updates," McGinnis said, reading the alert.

Peeking out her back window, she saw firetrucks surrounding a wrecked semi.

"It was leaking fuel. And so the fire department was out here. And they were spraying foam everywhere," McGinnis said.

Investigators say a 62-year-old truck driver was trying to turn left to get on northbound I-235 when the nearly ten thousand gallon trailer, three-quarters full of gasoline, tipped over and started pouring toward the neighborhood.

And it was even closer for Lonnie Banks.

"The ambulance came and backed up, and they had a gentleman laying on the side of the hill right there," Banks showed us from his backyard, just feet away from the crash.

Banks says even though the road closures are a pain, he's glad the fire department took its time to safely drain the fuel.

"I'd rather for them to put [foam] on then than wait and see flames coming out of the truck or someplace. Because it could have been a broken wire between the trailer and the truck, and all it would have took was one spark," Banks said.

McGinnis says while she's glad it wasn't worse, her concern now is if all the chemicals will contaminate the ground.

"Not sure how that can be cleaned up, and if it's hazardous. I wouldn't want it washing over into our backyards," said McGinnis.

Most of the residents in the area are on city water, but a couple of them tell KAKE News they have wells and are extra concerned about contamination. They hope someone will pay to have it tested.

 


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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - A tanker truck carrying unleaded fuel overturned this morning in northwest Wichita, causing a shelter-in-place to be issued for the area.

The Wichita Fire Department says the tanker was 3/4 filled when it overturned and cleanup crews have the leak 90% contained as of 3 p.m. Thursday.

The incident occurred around 9 a.m. Thursday on the I-235 Meridian ramp. The truck driver was taken to a Wichita hospital.

A shelter-in-place was issued by Sedgwick County just before 11 a.m. and was lifted shortly before 1 p.m. 

Crews may be on the scene for a few more hours, a Wichita Fire Department spokesperson said.