Fuel spill in Lake Erie - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Fuel spill in Lake Erie

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Clean up crews are still on the scene of a fuel spill in Lake Erie. It happened early Tuesday morning at the Torco docks in Oregon. The docks are along Otter Creek Road and they are operated by CSX.

At this point Coast Guard investigators are still looking into the cause. A Canadian freighter hit a dock wall just after 8 Tuesday morning as it was backing into the slip. The impact fractured the hull and caused a leak in the fuel tank.

Crews from an environmental company will work until dark on Tuesday and then monitor the situation overnight. According to the Executive Officer of the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Unit here in Toledo the leak was relatively minor. At this point they think only a gallon of fuel actually spilled.

He says freighters like this have multiple fuel tanks that can carry a total of about 18,000 gallons of fuel so obviously this could have been a much more serious problem. Engineers on board the vessel were able to transfer fuel from one tank to another to minimize the amount of fuel that spilled. Both containment and absorbent booms were used at the scene.

And according to Lt. John Adkins of the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Unit here in Toledo they even scanned the site from the air, "We did a fly by this morning with a Coast Guard helicopter to see the impact to the waterway. We determined the sheen was contained to the slip area, no waterways or water intakes were impacted and that is something we are always looking into."

The freighter is carrying a load of iron ore pellets which will be unloaded once it's safe to do that. No word yet on where the ship will be repaired, but investigators say it could make the trip back to Canada for that work. The investigation is continuing.

 

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