- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Several neighborhoods in the Bensville Road area of Waldorf were evacuated for about six hours Thursday after a propane truck overturned.
Elizabeth Campbell, spokeswoman for Charles County Emergency Services, said a call came in just after 9:30 a.m. that a propane truck had overturned on Bensville Road near Carrie Court.
Campbell said the truck, which holds about 2,000 pounds of propane, was on its side and it was leaking.
All valves were closed, and at the time the truck was sealed, Campbell reported, it was 85 percent full.
She said there were no injuries as a result of the accident.
The roadway was closed between Route 228 and Zoll Lane, according to information from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office reported that Valley Drive, Sedgeland Court, Carrie Court, Shannon Drive, Poplar Court and Paperbirch Court neighborhoods were evacuated.
Campbell said that due to the nature of the accident, the cleanup took several hours.
Jeff Duer, spokesman for the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department, said emergency responders moved the truck to an upright position once they determined it was safe to do so. It was then transported from the scene.
By 3:30 p.m., the area was deemed safe and the road was opened after a six-hour closure.
Charles County Public Schools spokeswoman Katie O’Malley-Simpson said the school system held morning prekindergarten children from the affected areas at William A. Diggs Elementary School and did not pick up students from the affected areas for afternoon class.
The school system contacted parents of students who live in the affected areas to let them know their children would not be transported by bus Thursday afternoon. The road closure affected several schools, especially Diggs, Theodore G. Davis Middle School and North Point High School.
Students affected by the closures attending Archbishop Neale School were picked up by parents at regular dismissal time.
O’Malley-Simpson said the closure also caused other buses to be rerouted which caused later drop-off times.
Jerry Ballengee of White Plains witnessed the accident and said once he saw the truck turn over both the fight and flight responses triggered.
Ballengee said he knew that because it was a propane truck that there was a good chance there could have been an immediate explosion. He said he stopped his car and backed out of harm’s way as did other cars in the vicinity. He said he backed into a driveway and stuck around to alert other vehicles of the incident and to offer assistance.