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Bob Baron
Bob Baron
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Hundreds of Pennsylvania homes evacuated after tanker crash spills thousands of gallons of fuel


(BETHLEHEM, Pa.) — Hundreds of homes in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, are being evacuated after a gasoline tanker carrying about 6,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel overturned early Thursday, according to police.

Police evacuated residences within a 1,000 foot radius of the overturned truck through reverse 911 calls and officers going door-to-door. The truck driver was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

The Bethlehem Fire Department, Lehigh County Haz-Mat Team, Rapid Response, Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, City of Bethlehem Water and Sewer and other agencies are on the scene determining the extent of the spill, assisting with clean up and determining what residences are safe to return to, according to police.

Police said the events leading up to the accident are still under investigation. Clean up will continue throughout the day.

Police have closed off W. Union Boulevard between Pennsylvania Avenue and Beverly Avenue and told residents to avoid the area if possible.

The American Red Cross Greater Pennsylvania Region confirmed they are responding to a “significant fuel oil spill affecting hundreds of homes” in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

“At the request of Northampton EMA, we are responding to the area of Paul Ave & West Union Blvd in Bethlehem (PA) following a significant fuel oil spill affecting hundreds of homes,” the American Red Cross said in a tweet regarding the incident on social media. “Currently, we are providing canteen services to responders, mobilizing shelter teams to support the evacuation site, and coordinating with local officials to determine community needs and next steps. This response (& spill) is still active.”

A local middle school campus is being used as a shelter for displaced families and are operating on a two-hour delay to opening as a result.

“Due to a fuel spill on the west side of Bethlehem, our school is being used as a shelter for displaced families,” according to a statement posted on the Bethlehem Area School District’s website. “We will delay the opening of school for two hours to ensure that our building is ready to function normally for students and staff while also serving our community’s needs.”

ABC News’ Ahmad Hemingway and Alexandra Faul contributed to this report.

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