Power Unit incident

No one was hurt when an approximately 140,000-pound battery fell off an eastbound truck that was heading up the Blue Ridge Mountains in Clarke County on Route 7 about 12:20 p.m. Monday, near Pine Grove. The uninterrupted power supply unit landed on the right shoulder of the road. Two massive cranes are being used to move the apparatus.

Update: Oct. 14, 11:11 a.m.

Loudoun County officials announced shortly after 11 a.m. that all lanes of Route 7 eastbound and westbound at Raven Rocks Road have been reopened.

-Times-Mirror Staff


Original report: Oct. 14, 8:31 a.m.

Drivers on Route 7 near the Loudoun-Clarke county line can expect continued delays due to an incident involving a giant battery backup unit.

The incident occurred about 12:20 p.m. on Monday when the 140,000-pound concrete apparatus, known as an uninterrupted power supply unit, was being transported from Louisiana to Ashburn on a tractor-trailer from the Supor Heavy Haul company, according to Clarke County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Travis M. Sumption.

The tractor-trailer — accompanied by Supor pilot cars to keep traffic at a distance — was in the right lane driving slowly on a steep stretch of road that banks left when the load disconnected from the tractor and fell onto the right shoulder. "The driver felt it shifting and the chains snapped," Sumption said.

No one was injured in the mishap, Sumption said. The driver wasn't charged for hauling an unsecured load. Sumption said investigators exercised discretion and considered the high cost of removing the unit.

Removal is continuing. Due to the size and weight of the unit, two 300-ton cranes are needed to move it. The cranes were scheduled to be assembled at the accident scene on Tuesday. 

Early Wednesday a Loudoun County alert stated: "All traffic on Route 7 between Raven Rocks Road in Loudoun County and River Road in Clarke County will be divided on to the westbound side of Route 7. Use the right lane. Charles Town Pike is open as an alternate route till 7:30 p.m."

Drivers should expect delays in both directions on Route 7 on the mountain, according to the authorities. 

A news release on Tuesday from the Virginia Department of Transportation said drivers seeking additional information on traffic alerts can call 511. Information is also available online at www.511.virginia.org.

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