Truck Fire Follow Up: HazMat Chemical Description - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Truck Fire Follow Up: HazMat Chemical Description

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On Thursday, May 2 traffic in the Beckley area was backed up for hours after a FedEx Freight truck caught fire.  On the truck were Hazardous Materials that were labeled "Dangerous When Wet."  That lead to HazMat clean up teams being called in to deal with the chemicals.

According to the West Virginia Department of Transportation, those chemicals were Lithium and Disodium Trioxasilacate.  59News looked into what these chemicals are.  They are described as Class 4 - Flammable Solids which can spontaneously combust or release toxic gases if they are exposed to water.

Here is a description of the chemicals that were on the rear trailer of the tandem truck:

Lithium: An extremely soft, silvery gray metallic element.

It's used in a wide range of industries - - and is extremely reactive.  In larger amounts, Lithium

Disodium Trioxasilacate: a white, odorless solid.

It's corrosive to skin, eyes, mouth, throat, the esophagus and the digestive tract.  It can react dangerously with oxidizing agents. It may react with Zinc, Tin and Aluminum in the presence of moisture to release Hydrogen - - a highly flammable gas.