XENIA TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A semitrailer carrying more than 2,000 pigs overturned Monday evening just outside Xenia, Ohio, killing hundreds of animals and letting even more run loose.
The accident happened at about 7:30 p.m. on U.S. Route 35 near West Main Street, on the west side of Xenia.
Police closed the road and expect it will remain closed for several hours.
Officials said it appears the driver, from South Carolina, went too fast through a curve, causing the semi to roll. He was unharmed, but a passenger was injured and taken to a local hospital for treatment.
About 300 to 400 animals were killed; others took off running.
"They're in the woods, so I don't think we'll ever get all of them -- I really, really don't," Xenia Township Fire Chief Dean Fox said. "We'll try as hard as we can to retrieve all of them, but we probably won't retrieve them all."
Numerous agencies are working to corral the escaped animals, including Greene County deputies, Xenia police, Wilberforce police, Greene County Parks and Recreation officers, local firefighters and volunteers.
"The help from local farmers meant a lot," Fox said. "If we didn't have the farmers here with their livestock trailers, there'd be pigs every place still."
The roughly 1,100 survivors were taken to the Greene County Fairgrounds, where they're were given water and cooled off. They were being hauled to southeast Indiana, where they'll finish being raised and then slaughtered.
But officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources are concerned how the pigs that have not yet been recovered could impact the local ecosystem.
One concern is how they could possibly spread disease among local domestic animals.
Brett Beatty, an ODNR wildlife management supervisor, told WCPO that they are working to capture the remaining pigs in the area.
"We estimate about 100 that are still alive and roaming around," Beatty said. "We are concerned about the wildlife... Pigs, once they are released or escape can actually damage and cause problems...and have a very negative impact on fragile ecosystems."
ODNR couldn't confirm how or if they will be able to help try to capture the pigs, but they said they are concerned about the animals.
The recovered pigs have since arrived at their destination in Indiana.