Big Rig Accident Closes I-10 In New Orleans East For 13 Hours

Interstate 10 in New Orleans East is open again, after an 18-wheeler accident and explosion shut down the roadway for 13 hours.

Around six Saturday morning, a truck carrying 225 canisters of a highly flmmable gas overturned overturned near the Michoud exit.

Louisiana State Police say the driver fell asleep at the wheel and ran off the road. When he tried to regain control, the truck overturned and lost the cylinders of highly flammable, colorless acetylene gas.

Some of the cyclinders exploded, ignititing a fire on the roadway and ajacent swamp. At least five nearby vehicles were hit when several cylinders ignited and flew in the air.

State police say the 26-year-old Edwards was taken to hospital with minor to moderate injuries. They say he was charged with careless operation of a motor vehicle.

The gas in the cylinders, acetylene, is used in such things as lighting and welding. Authorities said it posed no threat to the surrounding area, though hazardous materials crews responded to clean up the material.

Traffic on I-Ten was rerouted until about seven Saturday night.