UPDATE: After 19 hour shutdown I-90 is back open - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: After 19 hour shutdown I-90 is back open

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UPDATE:  A 6-mile stretch of I-90 is back open after a 19 hour shutdown due to an extremely toxic and flammable chemical spill of a substance called anhydrous trimethylamine. The spill happened at milepost 299 on I-90 near the Starr Road exit on Sunday afternoon just after 1:00pm. The highway was closed from the Liberty Lake exit in Washington to the Pleasant View Rd exit in N. Idaho.

During the closure, traffic was detoured to SR 290/SR 53 and to Wellesley/Seltice Way.

Hazmat crews on scene had to use extreme caution because the substance, which is used to make plastic tractor hoods, is so dangerous. Hazmat crews had to go into the spill zone seven times before they could successfully contain the substance and have confidence the area and air were safe. Only about a gallon of the anhydrous trimethylamine leaked but even that relatively small amount can be extremely dangerous, especially because it is so flammable.

The driver of the truck also had a dog with him when the spill happened and that dog remained trapped in the cab almost until the scene was cleared. According to authorities, Hazmat crews tried to get the dog out of the cab once they deemed the scene safe, but the dog was too frightened to come out of the truck willingly. They were able to test the air inside the truck to know that the air in the cab was safe for the dog.

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SPOKANE, Wash. – A hazardous material leak on I-90 delayed thousands of drivers for hours Sunday. The Spokane Valley Fire Department said on twitter the closure at the Washington-Idaho border will continue "into the night."

The closure started 1:30 p.m. after responding firefighters noticed the leak of Anhydrous Trimethylamine, a toxic and extremely flammable chemical.

“It has a very high vapor pressure which means it evaporates and turns into a gas and has toxic effects,” said Spokane Valley Deputy Fire Chief Andy Hail. Hail said Trimethylamine can cause respiratory difficulties, including respiratory arrest. Luckily, less than a gallon of the toxic chemical leaked. Trimethylamine is colorless, and can smell "fishy" or like ammonia at high concentrations. For more details on the chemical, click here.

Authorities are detouring eastbound drivers in Liberty Lake, and westbound drivers in Post Falls. Motorists can use both State Route 290 and East Appleway Avenue to cross the state line. Hail said motorists are making cleanup even more of a challenge.

“We had people that were consciously getting around our vehicles trying to gain access through an area that we were trying to block off,” he said. No buildings were evacuated, and no injuries were reported.

Hail told us if the leak had been much larger, evaporating gasses would be carried with the wind, threatening neighborhoods. Because the amount leak was so small, the National Weather Service says even strong winds would only dilute the minuscule minuscule gas.

Coming up on KHQ Local News Primetime, what crews told Victor Correa about the extended delays.

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