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Asbestos Spill on Bay Bridge Snarls S.F.-Area Traffic

<i> Associated Press</i>

An asbestos spill closed the five-lane lower deck of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge during Tuesday morning’s commute rush, snarling traffic around the Bay Area all day.

The California Department of Transportation said 25 bags of asbestos fell off a truck at 6:28 a.m. and the deck was closed about half an hour later.

The bags landed in the path of speeding autos that crushed them and turned their contents into powder. Two eastbound lanes reopened at 2:34 p.m.

The spill probably will not result in health problems, according to David Rizzolo, asbestos program manager for San Francisco. He said the material had been wetted down and was kept wet by fire department crews.

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The bags fell out the back door of the truck near Treasure Island, said Richard Haas, who was driving the vehicle for Pacific Rim Environmental Services.

The closure backed up freeway traffic well to the south on the San Francisco Peninsula and created a traffic snarl in downtown San Francisco.


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