Thousands of gallons of diesel fuel came gushing out of an overturned tanker in Revere Wednesday morning, and the cleanup will likely take days and could cost around $1 million, officials said.
Crews scrambled Wednesday to syphon an estimated 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled out of the tractor-trailer in the rollover crash in Brown Circle around 4 a.m.
The fuel was leaking down Ward Street, prompting concerns about contamination in the nearby Saugus River, marshes and streams. Both the U.S. Coast Guard and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection were on scene to deal with the hazmat situation.
“There were four large gouges in that tank, so a lot of product was coming out at a fast pace," Revere Fire Chief Christopher Bright said. “Some product did make its way into the water. We have the Coast Guard out on scene out on the water booming that."
The tanker was righted with a crane and towed away around 8 a.m., and a Department of Transportation representative said the rotary had reopened to traffic on Route 60. One lane of Route 107 southbound remained closed to the rotary Wednesday afternoon, and at 8 p.m., crews were going to begin working to repair damage to the road.
The closure of the two highways caused significant traffic during the morning commute.
Crews put foam product on the roadway Wednesday morning to mitigate the fumes and fire risk. Massachusetts State Police said nearly the entirety of the truck's load spilled in the crash.
"We're currently diking and damming the area. We have a foam line set up to suppress the vapors," Bright said earlier Wednesday. "We lay a foam blanket so we keep the vapors suppressed in case there's an ignition source. We don't want to have any fire problem or explosion problem on scene."
Road crews will need to cleanup the oil-dry used to soak up the fuel and may even need to mill and repave the damaged roadway, Bright said.
"This rotary will be shut down at least all day today," Bright said earlier Wednesday. "This roadway will probably have to be repaired all the way down coming off Lynn Marsh Road here, to Ward Street and this portion of the rotary."
The fuel spill will take much longer to clean and contain, Bright added, and will be much more costly.
Officials had said speed may have been a factor in the crash. The city has had issues with the rotary in the past as it can be difficult for tractor trailers to navigate.
Victor Diaz, who works at a nearby car shop, said this is the second crash and fuel spill in the same spot in about a year, and he believes the rotary needs to be removed.
“The second time, before it was gasoline, now it’s diesel,” Diaz said. “The rotary, they need to take it out. The people don’t know how to drive it."
Bright confirmed the recent crash.
“We had a tanker roll over about a year ago, a very similar situation in the same spot, so we kind of knew the drill, and got out and covered as many manholes and storm drains as we could," Bright said.
The driver of the diesel truck was not injured. There is no danger to the public.
State Police were on scene to assist with road closures. The department's commercial vehicle enforcement section examined the truck and found its braking system had a defect that would need to be repaired before it can return to service. It's up to Revere police, who have jurisdiction over the road where the crash took place, to issue any citations for what happened.
The truck is owned by Goguen Transportation out of Gardner, Massachusetts. The NBC10 Boston Investigators dug into the company's federal safety records and found no recent crashes or critical safety violations. The only blemish was a speeding ticket from last June.