Gas spill injures driver in Wallagrass

Posted May 31, 2011, at 6:32 p.m.
Last modified May 31, 2011, at 7:42 p.m.

WALLAGRASS, Maine — Emergency personnel and officials from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection were at the scene of an accident in which a gas truck overturned.

Samantha Depoy-Warren, DEP spokeswoman, said Tuesday evening that an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 of the 8,000 gallons of fuel in the truck, owned by John T. Noble of Caribou, had spilled.

The trucker was hauling gas for for Daigle Oil Co. in Fort Kent.

Details about the accident weren’t immediately available but Depoy-Warren said that she believed the accident occurred in the early afternoon on Route 11. She said that she believes the driver was injured and had to be extricated from the vehicle.

“At least one fuel compartment was breached during the accident,” she said. “Crews are on the scene working to control the gas vapors and another truck is also there to pump the remaining fuel out of the truck.”

She added that the accident location is in a rural area, but there are houses nearby. Geologists will be checking area wells beginning Wednesday to make sure they were not contaminated.

“Our responders on scene are reporting that most of the spilled gasoline made it into the bedrock alongside the road and as a result, may have seeped into the groundwater,” said Depoy-Warren. “Local law enforcement officials have notified nearby residents of the situation and possible water contamination.”

“The big issue is getting the fuel cleaned up,” she said. “This is a dangerous situation and we are working as quickly as we can to remedy it.”

The Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the crash.

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