The following information is in reference to a SIMULATED incident taking place in Mesa County. This is only a drill. More information about this drill can be found here.
UPDATE: No District 51 schools are within the 1.5-miles radius of the crash site.
Officials have released more information about the crash this morning on Interstate 70.
Authorities said the accident occurred when a diesel tanker blew a wheel, crossed the median and hit a Department of Energy vehicle. The accident occurred at mile marker 32.
The Department of Energy is working closely with local law enforcement officials to respond to this morning’s vehicle accident.
The cargo involved in the accident is safe and secure and DOE is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of the public and the environment.
DOE will continue to work with local authorities in responding to this event.
Three people died and 12 were injured in the accident. The injured were taken to area hospitals. One patient with a head injury was transported to the Denver VA’s Trauma Partner.
At the scene, security is increased because of the Department of Energy vehicle and its sensitive contents. Federal agents who are armed are guarding the sensitive cargo material. The agents have declared a national security area.
Low level gamma readings have been recorded 10 feet from the tankers. A shelter in place is still recommended for those within 1.5 miles of the incident.
Authorities have announced they will form an Incident Management Team for the duration of the incident, and an emergency will be declared.
Citizens should know that all traffic will be rerouted through the city for the next three days on the I-70 business loop.
Five Mesa County Valley School District 51 schools are located near the 1.5-mile radius of the crash site: Thunder Mountain Elementary, Grand Mesa Middle School, Clifton Elementary, Central High School and Fruitvale Elementary. No students are present this week due to spring break, and the schools are locked. District staff members have been instructed to stay away from the area for the duration of the incident. The school district has also turned off the HVAC system for those schools.
From the Department of Energy: This morning, there was a vehicle accident in the city of Grand Junction, Colorado, involving several vehicles, including a United States Department of Energy vehicle. There was an initial fire at the scene; the fire has been extinguished. Local law enforcement is present and has rerouted traffic at the scene. The Department of Energy will continue to work with local authorities in responding to this event. Information will be provided to the public as it develops.
Updated information will be posted at www.mesacountyjic.com throughout the duration of this incident. Please check this website often to get the latest information. You can also enter your email address on the website to receive email notifications anytime new information is posted.
People in Mesa County can also dial 211 from a landline phone or 970-244-8400 from a mobile phone for the latest information on this incident.
There may be times during critical incidents when first responders need to contact you directly during the emergency. To register your phone number, mobile device and/or email with the Mesa County Emergency Notification System so that you can receive notifications from the 911 dispatch center during critical incidents please visit www.gjcity.org/EmergencyNotifications.