Tanker spills diesel

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Approximately 420 gallons of off-road diesel fuel spilled from a tanker truck in a wreck on Highway 230 near Cave City June 10.

According to Gene Moore, Sharp County's Office of Emergency Management coordinator, the tanker, owned by White River Petroleum of Batesville, wrecked around 9 or 9:30 a.m. at Grange Road. The driver was on his way from Jonesboro to Batesville with a full load.

"It took that curve and it rolled over," Moore said.

The tanker then began leaking in a couple places, Moore said.

Two tank tops came loose and couldn't be completely shut. Each held approximately 1,000 gallons of fuel. One was able to be wedged shut and fuel leaking from the other was caught in a trash can, he said.

Moore said a representative of White River Petroleum told him about 420 to 425 gallons of off road diesel leaked from the tanker.

Cave City Water Department came out with its backhoe and helped to keep the fuel from the leak from spreading.

Cave City Fire Department came out and plugged the holes in the tanker. The remaining fuel was pumped from the tanker to another White River tanker.

Moore said the area where the wreck occurred has a lot of utility poles including one with an electrical transformer.

"If it would have gone off further east it would have taken out that transformer," Moore said. "It could have been bad."

Because the leak was off-road diesel, which does not readily ignite, as gasoline does, no evacuations were necessary, Moore said.

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality came to the scene and evaluated the area. ADEQ is requiring White River to dig the dirt out in the area, haul it to a landfill that accepts such material and return the damaged area back to normal.

"There won't be a problem with the company fixing it, but they (ADEQ) will make sure they'll take care of it," Moore said.

Spring River Paramedic Ambulance Service responded to the scene and checked out the driver. The driver had a small cut on his head, cuts on his arms and his legs were sore; however, he helped at the scene.

Cave City Police also responded as did the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

"We just had a lot of good help," Moore said.

Personnel remained on the scene for about four hours, Moore said.

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