RICHMOND -- Hotel guests evacuated when a tanker truck carrying two tanks of propane tipped over on a freeway onramp Monday were kept away from their rooms for approximately 12 hours, a manager said Tuesday.
Patrons at America's Best Value Inn, located at 1598 Carlson Blvd., were evacuated about 6 a.m., about three hours after the tanker tipped on the Carlson Boulevard onramp to Interstate 80. The tanker was towing two trailers, each with approximately 4,500 gallons of liquid propane, and the second trailer tipped as the driver tried to negotiate the onramp, California Highway Patrol Officer James Evans said.
Guests were told initially that they would be forced to vacate the hotel for only three or four hours, manager Anil Kumar said on Monday. But on Tuesday, Munjal Adhvaryu, another manager at the hotel, said the guests were not able to return until about 6 p.m.
Approximately 55-60 guests were at the hotel when the evacuation was ordered, Adhvaryu said. About 40 returned to the hotel when the order was lifted, he said.
"I don't think they were happy, but they managed," Adhvaryu said. "I didn't hear a lot of complaints."
Kumar said about 20 of the guests work at the Chevron refinery, and those 20 simply went to work. Other guests walked to a nearby Starbucks coffee shop and milled about.
"We all have mixed feelings," Adhvaryu said. "We aren't happy that we had to spend all day outside the hotel, but we're glad that the situation didn't turn out to be worse than it was."
A hazardous materials team siphoned the propane from the tanker, which did not rupture when it fell, Richmond police Lt. Arnold Threets said. Police investigated whether the tanker met the weight requirement to be on Carlson Boulevard legally but have not said what the investigation determined.
Police closed the freeway offramps for several hours while the clean up took place. The westbound offramp opened just before noon, but the eastbound offramp remained closed until about 5:45 p.m., Evans said.
The tanker carrying the propane bore a Chevron logo, but police have not said what company owned the truck.
RContact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.