Fuel spills draws CFD Hazmat to Columbia Avenue Wednesday afternoon

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
March 7th, 2019

Motorists may have been startled to see Castlegar Fire Department Hazmat (Hazardous Materials) working along Columbia Avenue near McDonalds today.

Fire Chief Sam Lattanzio said it was due to a situation in which a semi tractor-trailer unit had a ruptured fuel tank, which was leaking diesel fuel onto the roadway.

“He was travelling northbound on Columbia Avenue – it was a carrier that comes through this area frequently,” Lattanzio said. “The driver noticed the fuel level on the starboard side tank was going down.

“He pulled over immediately,” Lattanzio said, adding the dirver saw the leak and called 9-1-1 right away, which was the correct thing to do.

“Something had kicked up off the highway and punctured the tank,” he said. “The call came in at 2:05 p.m., and crews were on scene by 2:07 p.m.”

Luckily, the situation was only blocking one northbound lane, so traffic was able to proceed along the busy thoroughfare.

“Crews managed to prevent fuel from entering any of the three storm drains, and therefore our storm water system, using catch drain covers and absorbent material” Lattanzio said. “We stopped the fuel from leaking more using a product that will plug a ruptured tank.

“An estimated 300 to 400 litres fuel leaked, and Public Works attended the scene with a load of sand to absorb it,” he said, adding that the Ministry of Environment was also notified right away. “After consulting with MoE, they have given me authorization to deal with the contaminated absorbant material, which will be disposed of according to enironmental standards.

“I would like to thank everyone who assisted with this response including public works staff, RCMP with traffic control, CVSE with dealing with the tractor unit and our CFD firefighters for their professional response! Incidentally, this was the first time our Hazmat Support Unit Trailer was deployed to an incident since it was commissioned.”

Categories: General


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