Tanker carrying jet fuel overturns, closing Gandy Boulevard, Selmon Expressway for hours

An overturned fuel tanker snarled traffic from South Tampa  to the Pinellas County side of the Gandy Boulevard Bridge, starting around noon Tuesday and lasting well into the evening. 

The tanker truck flipped onto its side at the corner of W. Gandy Blvd. and Westshore Boulevard.

Tampa Fire Rescue says the truck spilled "hazardous material," prompting a HAZMAT response and closing traffic in both directions, plus closing a portion of the Selmon Expressway which passes above Gandy in South Tampa. 

Officials say the tanker contained 8,000 gallons of jet fuel.

Out of an abundance of caution, the nearby Circle K store was evacuated and staff at other nearby businesses were asked to shelter in place. 

Tampa Fire personnel created a dam with soil from the median to keep the fuel from getting into the sewer system and waterways. They also sprayed foam to avoid sparks and fire. 

The tanker was sealed and stopped leaking four hours later. About 1,200 gallons of fuel were recovered. Officials did not say how much was unaccounted for. 

The Selmon Expressway reopened around 5 p.m. At 9 p.m., parts of Gandy Blvd. were still closed.

Still shot of Gandy Bridge closure (Photo: FDOT)