Detours slated for motorists following IP explosion

Published 1:05 pm Monday, January 23, 2017

Motorists traveling toward Pensacola will be encountering detours along U.S. Highway 29, as crews continue to work to clean up materials leaked onto the roadway after an explosion Sunday night at the International Paper Company plant in Cantonment.


No one was injured in the blast; however, chemical materials known as “Black Liquor” were leaked onto areas of the nearby highway, according to Public Affairs Officer Eddie Elmore. Monday afternoon, Elmore said the highway would be closed at Muscogee Road, to the north, and Tate Road, to the south, as well as from Muscogee Road and Jacks Branch Road, to the west, and Co. Road 95A, from Woodbury Place to Muscogee Road.

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Elmore said there is no time frame for how long the closures will last, adding crews with the Florida Department of Transportation are currently on the scene and are using a “soap-type base chemical” to clean. He said it is still unknown how the cleaner will react when introduced to the leaked material.


“The roadway could become slippery and cause a hazard to the roadway and motorist(s),” Elmore stated in a press release.


Elmore said the leaked “Black Liquor” is a skin and eye irritant.


Currently, the State Fire Marshal is on the scene where trucks are on standby to begin the cleaning effort. The Escambia County (Florida) Sheriff’s Department and the Florida Highway Patrol are also assisting with cleanup and detour efforts.