Fatal SC wreck causes chemical spill, prompts shelter-in-place for nearby residents, officials say

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A fatal wreck Thursday west of Chester County caused a tanker truck to catch fire and leak a chemical, which prompted a warning to shelter in place in a one-mile radius around the town of Ridgeway, authorities said.

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The wreck happened at about 6 a.m. on I-77 South, two miles south of exit 34.

Charles Wayne Hartley, 54, of Lancaster, died in the wreck.

The accident caused at least one vehicle to catch fire and all lanes to close at mile marker 32, troopers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said.


Fairfield County Fire Service asked everyone within a one-mile radius and in the Town of Ridgeway to shelter in place during the cleanup.

By 10:30 a.m., the County Fire Service had contained the fire and lifted the shelter in place.

According to Fairfield County Fire Service, the tanker contained ammonium sulfate.

The chemical is used in artificial fertilizer for alkaline soils, according to the National Library of Medicine.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

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