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Gas tanker overturns on Connecticut highway

BOSTON (Reuters) - A gasoline tanker overturned on Interstate 91 in North Haven, Connecticut on Tuesday, shutting down traffic in both directions and snarling the evening commute, officials said.

The tanker, carrying nearly 9,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline, swerved to avoid a car cutting into its lane and flipped over, said Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J Paul Vance.

Both the truck driver and the driver of the other car were taken to area hospitals for treatment of minor injuries, Vance said.

The overturned tanker was on the center median strip leaking fuel, said Connecticut Department of Transportation spokesman Judd Everhart.

The accident was reported around 1 p.m. local time not far from the start of the interstate highway that runs from Connecticut through Massachusetts and Vermont to the Canadian border.

State environmental officials called to the scene planned to empty the tanker of fuel in order to turn it upright and assess any damage to soil or groundwater in the vicinity.

The leak was relatively small, around 100 gallons, and clean up efforts are expected to continue into the evening, said Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Dwayne Gardner.

State police expect both directions of the interstate at North Haven to remain closed until later this evening.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)

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