Truck carrying waste rolls over on I-94 in Detroit - FOX 35 News Orlando

Truck carrying waste rolls over on I-94 in Detroit

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The smell was so bad even some of the firefighters thought what tipped over on I-94 was human waste.  It turned out to be something else, but it took a long time to clean up.

A Fox 2 viewer was one of the last drivers to creep past the overturned tractor-trailer before I-94 Westbound between I-75 and the Lodge was shutdown.  Cell phone video shows a fine green powder all over the road and an up close look at the trailer on its side.

"The driver says that someone in front of him cut him off, a young lady.  He put on his brakes and caused his tractor to overturn," said Captain Christopher Dixon with the Detroit Fire Department.

The stretch of I-94 was impassable for about three hours.  Initial reports described the green powder as some sort of treated human waste with an awful smell.

"We didn't know what it was.  It had a really pungent odor," Dixon explained.  "The best thing was to stop traffic, evacuate from that area until we found out what it was."

A front end loader scooped up as much dry powder as possible, dumping it in an empty semi on the side of the road.  Hazmat crews hosed down the highway in full protective gear with masks and gloves.

Once most of the mess was cleared out, heavy duty tow trucks put the trailer back on its wheels.

The unmarked truck from H&P Transportation was carrying treated residential waste, in other words processed garbage.

"Later on found out that it was latex products, dyes, things of that nature that they use a process to dry it out and take it to a landfill," Dixon said.

The driver appeared to be uninjured in the accident.  He gave police and fire details of the crash and the truck's contents.

H&P Transportation had no comment.

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