Tanker Truck Wrecks in Bartow, Leaks Diesel Fuel into Greenbrier River
On Tuesday afternoon, a tanker truck carrying 7,800 gallons of diesel fuel overturned at Hermitage Bridge in Bartow, West Virginia. The driver was uninjured but the truck caught on fire and some of the diesel fuel has spilled into the Greenbrier River.
Pocahontas County 911 announced that as of Wednesday morning, traffic on US 250, route 28 and route 92 is now open with detours. “The bridge is still closed,” they said, “and will remain closed until the state gets a team up there to inspect the bridge. There is a detour around the dirt road to get around the bridge until it’s checked out.”
The truck was owned by Petroleum Carriers, LLC, based in Richmond Virginia. The trucking company opted to provide no comment on the accident. A private environmental clean-up crew hired by the trucking company is now on the scene.
All Pocahontas County fire departments were initially dispatched on Tuesday, with mutual aid requested from departments in Randolph, Pendleton, Harrison and Greenbrier Counties.
The WV Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) remains at the site, working to remove diesel from the river. According to Tom Aluise from the DEP, the spill was contained and not evident beyond a quarter mile downstream from the spill site.
“So it is contained and there wasn’t a significant amount,” Aluise said. “There was no fish kill observed, and right now there’s an environmental clean up crew on site, excavating any contaminated soil that would be on the river bank there below the bridge.”
“I believe there were close to 10 booms placed in the river, which basically absorb the diesel which floats on top of the water,” Aluise said. Any diesel that’s not absorbed in the booms they can vacuum out of the water, so they’ll clean up the water that way as well. “Not sure how long the clean up is going to take, but the DEP will be on site, continuing to monitor the conditions there and the clean up.”
A similar tanker truck accident happened in July of 2012, where a tanker truck full of gasoline flipped onto its side in a field one-quarter mile south of the Route 250/Route 92 intersection in Bartow. This is the third tanker accident Pocahontas County has seen since 2009.