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Propane tanker overturns, closing Canton Highway
1WEB foam it out
Firefighters use foam to control a small propane leak on an overturned tanker as they work to stop the flow of flammable gas from the truck. - photo by Jim Dean

NORTHWEST FORSYTH — Canton Highway (Hwy. 20) near the Forsyth-Cherokee County line was closed for about two hours Tuesday morning after a propane tanker overturned.

No one was injured in the crash, which occurred about 8:45 a.m. between Doc Sams and Heardsville roads. But given the cargo and safety concerns, the incident prompted the evacuation of four nearby businesses.

Authorities initially thought they would need to pump the propane off the truck into another tanker before they could move it.

"Because the cargo is liquid, we were concerned that the tanker might continue to roll on over," said Forsyth County Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers. 

However, they were able to call in a specialized tow truck with a rotating boom to lift the tanker while still loaded and upright it. 

The businesses were cleared as a precaution after sensors detected the presence of propane gas outside the truck. 

Shivers said there was a tiny leak from one of the valves in the tank, but it was sealed after the hazardous materials crew arrived.  

According to Shivers, the area was monitored to ensure the propane, which is heavier than air, was not settling anywhere it could cause a problem.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the crash, which remains under investigation.

According to authorities at the scene, the truck was traveling east toward Cumming when the driver left the road on to the right shoulder. 

The left front wheel struck a hole near a mailbox, causing the truck to overturn.  As the truck came down on the passenger’s side, it reportedly spun 180 degrees, and stopped facing westbound traffic, though still in the eastbound lane. 

The road reopened about 10:50 a.m.