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Crash sends industrial soap into Blackfoot River

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BONNER, Mont. (AP) — A tractor-trailer that crashed Tuesday on Montana Highway 200 spilled chemicals used to make industrial soap into the Blackfoot River, the Montana Highway Patrol said.

The driver told the patrol that his right front tire blew as he was rounding a corner about 2 miles east of Bonner around 9:15 a.m. The truck ended up on its side.

The chemicals appeared to be coming from containers of aluminum sulfate and diethanolamine, which are used in making detergents, Missoula Rural Fire acting Battalion Chief Paul Finlay told the Missoulian (http://bit.ly/1tvVXsT ).

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks closed the river downstream from the crash for about six hours before reopening it Tuesday afternoon.

Crews placed a boom on the water to contain the spill and were trying to plug a drainage pipe carrying the chemicals from the ditch into the river.

FWP regional fisheries manager Pat Saffel said it was not immediately clear how the chemicals might impact the river or its fish.

The truck driver suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene, the patrol said.

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