Fire, HazMat crews respond to pickup-fuel tanker collision in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City Fire and HazMat crews responded early on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, when a pickup collided with a fuel tanker in Salt Lake City. Photo: Gephardt Daily/MonicoGarza/SLCScanner

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 20, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Fire and HazMat crews responded overnight after a pickup hit a semi pulling two fuel tankers, and the resulting rupture spilled an estimated 140 gallons of the flammable liquid on the roadway.

The collision happened at about 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, Captain Joseph Bush, Salt Lake City Fire Department, said at the scene, near 3200 W. California Ave (1330 South).

“There was a small pickup versus a semi tractor that had two large fuel tanks, and one of the tanks was ruptured with about a 5-inch gaping hole, so it was spilling out quickly,” Bush said.

“There was more than 100 gallons spilled right away, onto the asphalt. And the other tank, the way these trucks are set up, they have a transfer system to transfer fuel from one tank to the other, so it’s going to empty all of its contents onto the road through the electric fuel pumps.

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“So we worked hard to kill the power to those and stop the fuel transfer, and we had the whole HazMat crew here with a whole lot of kitty litter to absorb the puddles.”

Bush, a HazMat specialist, said Health Department officials responded quickly to ensure environmental damage was curtailed and “the proper cleanup is done.”

Bush said at the scene that good progress had been made.

“We’ve got it all absorbed up. The fuel is stopped, and we’re getting ready to tow.”

An air pump was used to clean up the fuel, Bush said, adding, “It gets the job done fast.”

“We’ve got to keep it out of the sewer system,” he said of the fuel. “That’s why we’ve got the Health Department here.”

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