ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Thousands of drywall screws that fell onto a busy Alaska road punctured tires and caused police to close off traffic until the mess was cleaned up.
The 1 1/4-inch (31.75 millimeter) drywall screws were strewn Thursday afternoon onto Eagle River Loop Road, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Police did not immediately determine the cause of the spill.
The road is one of the main entryways into Eagle River, a community within the municipality of Anchorage. The screws punctured some tires immediately, forcing drivers to the side of the road. Other drivers found screws after arriving at their homes.
A trickle of drivers seeking assistance turned into a steady stream at Alaska Tire Service in Eagle River.
“It got a little crazy,” said sales associate Leo Penor. The most screws in one tire was 28, he said.
The Anchorage Police Department issued an alert at about 3:20 p.m. advising people to avoid the area. Municipal crews, some using small hand tools, picked up the screws and the road reopened at about 5 p.m.
Eagle River Trustworthy Hardware co-owner Justin Phillips said the store sells the screws in 1- and 5-pound (0.45- and 2.3-kilogram) boxes. The box that fell on the road may have been a larger contractor-size box, which could contain more than 5,000 screws, he said.
Michelle Jansen drove through the screws. She thought they were some kind of loose rubber, like the stuff placed under playground equipment at Alaska elementary schools. When she got home, she saw a Facebook post about the screws and she checked her tires.
“I had one in each back tire,” she said.