Investigation under way into flipped fuel tanker in Mission Valley: Incident prompted Sig Alert

Friars Road remain closed due to flipped tanker

SAN DIEGO - Authorities are investigating Monday why a fuel tanker carrying thousands of gallons of ethanol flipped on its side in Mission Valley.

As of 4 a.m., Friars Road at Mission Village Drive was still closed due to the flipped tanker.

But authorities tell 10News there is less danger Monday morning because most of the fuel was pumped into other trucks and cleaned up. About 3,000 gallons were off-loaded into other trucks, while about 6,000 gallons leaked to the ground. Out of the 6,000 gallons, 2,500 was pumped out of the storm drains. There are still 3,300 gallons unaccounted for.

Dozens of San Diego firefighters converged where the tanker overturned near Qualcomm Stadium at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday. 10News learned that the tanker was trying to make a left turn onto San Diego Mission Road.

As of 5 a.m., closures included San Diego Mission Road in both directions from Qualcomm Stadium to Interstate 15.  Friars Road in both directions to Northside Drive was also closed.

The west Friars Road offramp from north and south Interstate 15 reopened at around 5:30 a.m.

The driver of the truck was treated and released from the hospital with minor injuries, as ethanol leaked from the truck.

 “When the tanker overturned it sprung two leaks,” said Maurice Luque, spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.  “There is a flammable liquid at this point spilling about 50 gallons a  minute.”

Luque said the substance was making its way into at least one storm drain.

The main fear was that the highly flammable liquid finds an ignition source, especially along the banks of the San Diego River, according to authorities.

 “The police have gone through the riverbed  area getting transients out of there because they have fires and …that fuel is like water and the fire itself would travel wherever that fuel has been leaking from,” Luque said.

No evacuations were made at the nearby condos to the east or west of Qualcomm Stadium. 

Clean up was expected to last three days.

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