Fuel spill stalls Jonesboro traffic Tuesday afternoon

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A crash Tuesday afternoon brought traffic at a major intersection in Jonesboro to a stop.

Around noon, the driver of a Mack dump truck and a vehicle were southbound on Southwest Drive when they collided at the intersection of Parker Road.

The accident caused the fuel tank on the Mack truck to come off and burst open.

Director of the Craighead County Office of Emergency Management David Moore said emergency crews arrived on the scene fast to administer help and begin cleaning up the scene.

"Clean up on this will be pretty straightforward," Moore said. "Arkansas Highway Department is bringing in sand to put down on the diesel that's laying on the pavement and that has a twofold effect. One, it will soak up the diesel, so it won't drain off into any waterways and cause contamination. Two, if anybody does drive over it, it will create traction where you won't have as much of a safety problem. For instance, cars skidding or anything like that."

Moore said the sand put down would be removed from the scene.

"Once they get it all down and they're comfortable with it, then they will turn it loose," Moore said. "Now, the wrecker service that's going to be hauling the big truck away, they will also do a cleanup. So, what they will do is come back in and pick up all the sand and carry it back to their facility. There is an approved process through Arkansas State Department of Environmental Quality that they can take the contaminated sand and process it until it's completely safe to return back to the earth. So, we're very careful to make sure everything is taken care of properly."

Moore said emergency crews have had plenty of practice to prepare for such a large scale event.

"We have these in smaller events, but something as large as this does not happen very often," Moore said. "But all the people involved have been working in this for so many years and are so experienced in it that they know what to do. By the time I'm notified and get on scene, most of everything is already in place. I just take a look at it. I will talk to the spilling party and make sure they understand what their responsibilities are. Then my office is a resource to the responders. So, if there is anything they don't have that they need and can't acquire, you ask me, and I supply that for them."

No injuries were reported in the crash.

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