A chemical leaked from a commercial truck on Interstate 94 in St. Paul late Tuesday morning, snarling traffic for hours and sickening the driver and two nearby motorists, authorities said.
The estimated 200-gallon spill of sodium bisulfate, used to clean swimming pools, occurred about 10:30 a.m. on eastbound I-94 just east of Hwy. 61, said St. Paul Fire District Chief Stan Jadwinski.
The truck, owned by Commercial Pool and Spa Supplies of Maplewood, "developed a crack," leading to the spill, Jadwinski said.
Some of the chemical entered the storm sewer system and reached the Mississippi River, where it was being contained with booms, Jadwinski said.
The driver fell ill when he opened the back and inhaled fumes. Also, two women along the shoulder were tending to a flat tire when the truck pulled over in front of them. They felt "a little bit ill from the fumes" and joined the truck driver at Regions Hospital, Jadwinski said.