Nfld. & Labrador

Vehicle drives away still attached to diesel pump, causing spill in Donovans

St. John's Regional Fire Department tried to keep fuel from spilling into nearby storm drain.

It's unclear how much fuel was spilled

A vehicle drove away from a fuel pump in Donovans Industrial Park with the hose still connected. (Sarah Smellie/CBC)

A vehicle pulled away from a fuel pump with the nozzle still in it at Irving in Donovans Industrial Park in Mount Pearl Wednesday night, causing a spill of diesel fuel.

"He was getting diesel fuel and inadvertently didn't put the hose back. So the hose broke away," said Barry Burke, acting platoon chief with the St. John's Fire Department. He said it was likely a transport truck or some kind of commercial vehicle.

Long piles of absorbent material snaked down the driveway. (Sarah Smellie/CBC)

Burke said it was impossible to tell how much fuel had been spilled and that they wouldn't know until they found the vehicle that drove away and figured out how much fuel went into its tank.

Firefighters poured bags of absorbent material — "like kitty litter" — over the spill, with long piles of the fuel-soaked material snaking back and forth from the Irving diesel pump down toward a nearby storm drain.

They built up a small berm of absorbent material around the drain to keep fuel from running into it.

Of particular concern was this storm drain. Fire crews built a small berm around it, so fuel wouldn't run into it.

"We used our gas detector, put it in the storm drain, and no reading, so that's a good sign," he said.

"Everything we're doing now is precautionary. We're still putting all the pieces together."

Burke said efforts were underway to figure out who had last been at the fuel pump.

Fire crews poured out bags of absorbent material in order to sop up the fuel. (Sarah Smellie/CBC)

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