1,000 gallons of gas spill when tanker falls; HazMat team responds
Courtney Sacco | AnnArbor.com
More than 1,000 gallons of petroleum spilled spilled from a Sloan Petroleum Transport tanker late Wednesday afternoon, requiring the Washtenaw County Hazardous Materials Team for cleanup.
Capt. Larry James of the Ypsilanti Township Fire Department said crews were dispatched at 5:18 p.m. to the scene of the spill at 3105 E. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti Township.
Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Geoffrey Fox said two tankers were propped up side by side and not attached to a tractor, in the rear of a parking lot when the tanker on the right collapsed.
According to James, the heavy rain recently in the area caused the ground underneath the tankers to become too soft to support the jack holding the front axel of the tankers. After the right tanker fell, it knocked down the left one and caused a puncture in the right tanker, causing it to spill 1,000 of the 9,000 gallons of gasoline it contained. The left tank, which also contained 9,000 gallons of gasoline, was not punctured.
No one suffered any injuries. The sheriff’s office, Ypsilanti Township Fire Department and Huron Valley Ambulance were dispatched to the scene.
The parking lot is adjacent to two buildings, one a small office building and the other a barn,Â and the HazMat team actively was investigating the spill area near the buildings and the power to each had been shut off as of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The owner of the small office building initially called in the accident report.
There are two other tankers on the property that were unaffected. One contains 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel and the other is empty.
There are no streams or wetlands near the parking that would be affected by the spill, according to James, and most of the gasoline is seeping into the ground. HazMat teams also were getting a non-explosive reading from the fuels.
James also said the two trailer parks adjacent to the parking lot were not in any kind of jeopardy at this point.
Cleanup of the dirt likely will not happen Wednesday night, but before emergency crews can leave, both tankers must be propped back up and secured in the position they previously were in or removed from the property. The gasoline in the tankers also will need to be pumped out and transferred to another tanker before leaving the scene.
James estimated overall cleanup would take about six hours total.
Fox said no roads will be closed in the area Wednesday evening, but traffic may be slow due to the amount of fire department personnel responding to the scene.
Health and environment reporter Amy Biolchini contributed to this report.