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Nitric acid spill evacuation order rescinded, I-10 reopens

Posted at 3:24 PM, Feb 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-16 07:21:54-05

KGUN 9 Team Coverage in the video player above

UPDATE: 4:50 a.m., Thursday

Traffic patterns appear to be returning to normal following the hazmat situation and closure of I-10 now that the highway has re-opened. Check the latest information on traffic flows at

Traffic patterns return to normal following hazmat situation

UPDATE: 7:20 p.m.

Interstate 10 has been reopened, according to Arizona DPS.

The evacuation order has been rescinded and "the public may resume normal activities," says DPS.

Reminder to follow guidelines if you suspect you've been exposed to hazardous fumes.

UPDATE: 5:40 p.m.

Shelter in-place order has been lifted.

UPDATE: 1:50 p.m.

The shelter-in-place order has been reduced to one mile, but evacuations are still in effect.

Tucson 1mile map horz (1).png

UPDATE: 1:40 p.m.

The Pima County Health Department and other information centers released more information regarding the toxic fumes.

UPDATE: 9:15 a.m.

DPS has confirmed the shelter-in-place order has been extended from a one to a three-mile perimeter around the incident at of 8:34am.

UPDATE: 4:55 a.m.

Unified Command has reinstated the shelter in place around that one mile-perimeter of the incident.

We're told more gas was released as crews attempted to remove the load from the wrecked vehicle.

Unified Command says they expect extensive closures.

UPDATE: 10:21 p.m.

According to Unified Command, it is now safe to use heaters and air conditioners within the one-mile perimeter around the incident.

UPDATE: 9:10 p.m.

The Vail School District says all school start times will be pushed back by two hours.

However, the end time continue as normal.

Parents should be receiving letters shortly.

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.

Shelter-in-place order has been lifted and evacuation remains in place.

UPDATE 8:20 p.m.

Arizona DPS has confirmed that the commercial vehicle driver involved in the crash has died.

There has been no word yet on the other driver.

UPDATE 7:50 p.m.

Arizona DPS reminds drivers about finding an alternate route for the morning commute on Wednesday, Feb. 15 as the area will remain closed.

UPDATE 7:30 p.m.

The half-mile perimeter around the nitric acid spill has been evacuated, and the shelter-in-place order is still in effect from the half-mile-to-mile radius around the spill.

A spokesperson for Vail Public Schools says they have not canceled school for the morning, but they will continue to work with public agencies and monitor the situation.

UPDATE 6:20 p.m.

As of now, the shelter-in-place orders are still in effect for areas within a mile of the I-10 crash, located between South Kolb and South Rita Roads.

UPDATE 4:19 p.m.

Current radius around I-10 crash for 'Shelter in Place' warning.

According to the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and Tucson Fire, the truck that overturned in the crash spilled a load of nitric acid.

Tucson Fire, Office of Emergency Management, Arizona DPS and the Department of Public Safety's Hazardous Materials Response Unit are working on the response.

First responders are evacuating people near the crash "out of an abundance of caution," according to DPS.

KGUN 9's reporter on the scene says UA Tech Park is currently being evacuated, and sources say Vail Unified School District is cancelling all after-school programs.

The Hampton Inn at 9085 S. Rita Road has also been evacuated, with hotel guests moving to a different Hampton Inn.

Wind speeds are currently about 25-35 mph.


UPDATE: 3:58 p.m.

A 'shelter in place' warning is in effect for all individuals within a mile radius of the crash. Everyone in the area is advised to turn off heaters, air conditioning units and other equipment that may bring outside air in.

That includes individuals:

  • East of the crash to Houghton Road
  • West of the crash to Kolb Road
  • North of the crash to Valencia Road
  • South of the crash to Voyager Road

Pima County Department of Environmental Quality is currently evaluating if the radius for sheltering in place will need to be expanded.

Authorities say a truck has flipped onto its side in the median. There is no information yet on the truck driver's condition.

Emergency alert

UPDATE 3:48 p.m.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the closure is due to a hazmat spill related to the crash.

Tucson Fire is on scene. Authorities say it will be an extensive closure.


Arizona Department of Transportation is reporting that both eastbound and westbound lanes of I-10 are closed near South Kolb Road due to a crash that occurred around 3 p.m.

Drivers should find alternate routes to avoid the closure and related delays.

ADOT says there is no estimated time that the lanes will re-open.

Visit the ADOT traffic map or dial 511 on the latest.