A cleanup effort is underway in central Alberta and the town of Stettler is using a backup water supply after a semi-truck rolled on a bridge Thursday afternoon, spilling fuel into a creek that eventually flows into the Red Deer River.
The County of Stettler said emergency crews were called Highway 21 -south of Highway 11 – near Content Bridge at around 3:30 p.m. after a semi-truck and its trailers rolled.
Officials said the driver suffered only minor injuries and was taken to Red Deer Regional Hospital by paramedics. The truck itself ended up on its side along with the first trailer but the second trailer came apart and rolled into the creek.
In a release, county officials said the trailers were carrying diesel fuel and “an unknown quantity of fuel spilled into the creek.”
Overnight, crews built two berms in hopes of limiting contamination from heading downstream.
“Today’s goals are to eliminate any further contamination downstream from the crash site,” Niki Thorsteinsson, a spokeswoman for the County of Stettler, said.
The fuel company stabilized the scene and removed the produce from the fuel tankers. Three recover units were on site Friday to remove the tankers.
She said it will take several days of work to determine whether the fuel reached the river.
“Alberta Environment will be doing samples and expediting them for testing over the next nine days, so it’s going to be a slow, steady process. They’re just being very careful and cautious at this point.”
Several agencies – including Alberta Emergency Management and Stettler Emergency Management Services – were notified.
According to officials, booms were used to limit the flow of fuel down the creek while the waterway itself was blocked off by using a berm. They said what fuel remained in the tank has now been removed.
The county said the town of Stettler’s water treatment plant has switched over to storage pond water which can provide 10 days worth of service to the area.
Cleanup is expected to continue into Friday and officials said the Red Deer River’s water quality will be assessed.
Highway 21 was briefly shut down in both directions immediately following the crash but one lane has since been reopened in alternating directions.
An investigation into what caused the crash is ongoing.
With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News and .