CALGARY – A big cleanup was needed on the QEII Highway on Tuesday, after a tanker-trailer carrying fuel rolled into a ditch.
It happened around 4 a.m. near Cross Iron Drive, north of Calgary.
RCMP say the tanker-trailer was southbound when it collided with the centre median and rolled.
No one was injured, but gasoline in the tanker began leaking.
The truck was carrying 40,000 litres of gasoline and diesel at the time.
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According to Grant Kaiser with Rockyview County, an estimated 25,000 litres of fuel spilled into the ditch and drained into nearby farmland.
Hazardous materials response teams worked to clean up the spill as Alberta Environment and the Alberta Emergency Management Agency monitored the impact on nearby wetlands.
Police told drivers to avoid the area, and implemented intermittent closures of the QEII as they worked to clean up the fuel spill.
“It does pose a hazard that it might ignite during this process,” said Corp. Darrin Turnbull. “So for everyone’s safety we had to close the highway.”
Highway 2 reopened in both directions around 12:30 pm.
RCMP believe the driver of the tanker-trailer may have dozed off at the time of the crash.
“Our responding officers did speak with the driver of the tanker-truck,” said Turnbull. “The driver did indicate to the officer that he may have fallen asleep.”
“We’re looking at driver fatigue as one of the factors in this collision. Of course, we don’t stop there. We investigate further to determine if there were other factors that may have been involved.”
After testing the soil and groundwater in the area, the trucking company will be responsible for coming up with a plan to clean up any contamination.
It’s likely the driver and the company will face traffic charges. The province will only lay environmental charges if the company does not clean up the area properly.