NEWPORT, Tenn. (WATE) — An overturned propane truck closed a road and caused an evacuation of residents in Cocke County, according to a Department of Transportation spokesperson.
The crash caused State Route 340 to be closed at Allen Chapel Road, near Parrottsville around 11:15 a.m. According to Nagi, this will be a long-term closure.
As of 4:35 p.m. on Thursday, the 1-mile evacuation has been lifted, according to Cocke County Emergency Management Agency. The homes still under a “No-Return” order on South Highway 340 are 401, 405, 407 and 409.
Nagi said the vehicle was leaking propane causing some residents to evacuate. The Cocke County Sheriff’s Office said this is due to the threat of an explosion.
“These residents will need to stay sheltered away from their homes for a few more hours. The remainder of homeowners can return back to their residences. Crews are working diligently and safely to remove the gas from the damaged tank and get residents back in their homes and the road reopened,” Cocke County Emergency Management Agency said.
Anyone who is evacuated and needs a place to go can go to the Parrottsville Elementary School at 1901 Old Parrottsville Highway.
The driver of the propane truck was taken by helicopter to Johnson City Medical Center, Director of Cocke County Emergency Management Agency Joe Esway said. Two Cocke County deputies, who were the first to render aid to the driver, were taken to Newport Medical Center for propane inhalation.
A Cocke County Sheriff’s Office release said both deputies were released with non-life threatening injuries. Both had reported headaches, breathing issues and stomach issues.
Around noon, TDOT spokesman Mark Nagi said the propane leak had slowed and the remaining product was being transferred. The spilled propane is being burnt off, the Cocke County Emergency Management Agency confirmed.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with new information.