Truck spills at least 10,000L of diesel fuel near Newcastle
Two eastbound lanes at Hwy. 401 and Hwy. 115 closed for cleanup
A trucker is facing a charge of careless driving after his dual-tanker rig jackknifed in the Newcastle, Ont., area overnight, spilling at least 10,000 litres of diesel fuel into a ditch, some of which made it into a nearby creek.
The truck was travelling in the eastbound lanes of Hwy. 401 at Hwy. 115 just after 12 a.m. ET when the driver lost control, smashing into a bridge rail and sliding off the road into the adjacent ditch, police said.
The collision caused the tanks to overturn, and one tank spilled its entire load. Police originally said that 20,000 litres had leaked — the tanker's full capacity — but later said the tank contained between 10,000 and 15,000 litres of diesel.
"The smell of diesel fuel is in the air," said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said from the scene. "I haven't experienced a fuel spill like this that I can remember."
Crews from the Ministry of Environment are trying to contain the spill, as Wilmont Creek flows just east of where the truck spilled the fuel. Schmidt said diesel fuel could be seen pooling at the side of the road and was seemingly seeping into the ground.
Kate Jordan, spokeswoman for the ministry, told CBC News that a small amount of diesel got into the creek, but could not specify precise amounts. Crews have placed absorbent booms in the creek and are pumping the remaining fuel out of the ditch.
Jordan said that currently there is no evidence that the water table in the area has been affected.
The truck has been pulled out of the ditch, but for several hours all eastbound lanes of Hwy. 401 were closed at the scene of the incident.
The driver sustained minor injuries. Schmidt said the man is charged with one count of careless driving.
Currently officials are not concerned for public safety, but the cleanup could take most of the day, Schmidt said.