An accident involving an overturned gasoline tanker at the intersection of Arundel Expressway and Ritchie Highway in Pasadena closed Ritchie Highway in both directions and jammed traffic Tuesday afternoon, according to Anne Arundel County fire and police officials.

Both northbound and southbound lanes on Ritchie Highway were blocked to traffic for hours between East West Boulevard and Jumpers Hole Road, said Battalion Chief Steven Thompson, a fire spokesman.

At 2:54 p.m., a tractor trailer was turning left onto Ritchie Highway, also known as Route 2, from Arundel Expressway, also known as Route 10, when the 8,000-gallon gasoline tanker it was carrying detached from the trailer, Thompson said.

The nose of the tanker hit the road's asphalt and began leaking gasoline, Thompson said.

A fire hazardous materials unit and the Maryland Department of the Environment responded to the scene and began trying to contain the gasoline leak, Thompson said. By 6:15 p.m., most of the gasoline in the overturned tanker had been pumped into another tanker, he said.

"They didn't lose that much," Thompson said.

Northbound lanes of the highway were reopened about 6:30 p.m., while southbound lanes were reopened about 7:20 p.m., Thompson said.

No injuries were reported, he said.

krector@baltsun.com

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