Route 460 reopens in Giles County after tanker explosion

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 5:06 PM EDT
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GILES COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - UPDATE: Route 460 near State Line Road has been reopened, according to VDOT.

EARLIER: Traffic on one stretch of Route 460 in Giles County is down to one lane in each direction after a tanker truck explosion Sunday night.

WDBJ7 spoke with several people who say they heard the explosion, including Madison Page, who lives nearby in Narrows.

“I was sitting on the chair and we had the windows open, and I heard this loud like boom explosion, I thought a transformer had just blown, and I heard a lot of sirens," Page said.

She then listened to the scanners and found out a tanker had exploded around 8 Sunday night.

“I could see like the smoke coming over the mountains; it was real thick, black smoke," she said.

Marlana Miller, who lives walking distance from where the accident happened, took video of the fire.

“Ran out to the street and when I got there it just went poof, it was crazy ... It almost looked like a tornado the way it was just barreling up, it almost looked like a fiery tornado," Miller said.

Now, VDOT spokesperson Jason Bond says traffic along route 460 has been reduced to one lane in each direction.

“Two-way traffic has currently shifted into the eastbound lanes of route 460 with the westbound lanes closed," Bond said.

The spot of the accident is the same area where the road was closed when a mudslide occurred earlier this year.

Bond says the tanker explosion damaged the asphalt, so the westbound lanes will remain closed until they can fill out and replace 130 feet of asphalt. Depending on weather, he says that could take a day or two.

The captain of the Giles Lifesaving and Rescue Squad, Chris Thornton, responded, along with law enforcement agencies and several fire and EMS crews. Thornton says the truck was engulfed in flames along with part of the bank.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ. All rights reserved.

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