Chlorine truck crashes on Hathaway Road in Paris

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PARIS — A chemical company’s truck that dropped off chlorine to the town’s water and sewer provider toppled into power lines, sparked a small fire and left a road without power Tuesday afternoon.

The accident, which took place on Hathaway Road near the Paris Utility District’s pump station on the Little Androscoggin River around 3 p.m., did not result in injuries or leakage, Paris Fire Chief Brad Frost said Tuesday evening. 

The box truck hauling chemicals for Harcros Chemicals Inc. of Westbrook connected with overhanging power lines, snapped a utility poll across the dead-end road and briefly prevented emergency crews from responding to the driver, who called in the accident. 

The downed lines touched off a half-acre grass fire. Paris crews responding initially doused the flames until crews from Norway and the Maine Forest Service arrived to bring the fire under control. An employee from Central Maine Power soon after disabled electricity, allowing responders to access the truck and fire, which did not appear to threaten the driver. 

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The truck driver was uninjured but there was some damage to the truck, Frost said.

The driver, identified as Michael Averill, was unfamiliar with the new grade of the road and subsequently clipped the overhead lines as he was returning from a delivery, Frost said. No foul play is suspected.

Frost said the chemical is used in the water treatment process. There was no disruption to service for sewer and water users in the town, he said. As of Tuesday evening, electricity was still being restored to the road. 

ccrosby@sunmediagroup.net 

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