Most of crashed tanker's gasoline stopped from flowing into Lake Washington



Posted on November 28, 2011 at 6:59 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 28 at 6:16 PM

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BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Thousands of gallons of gasoline that spilled from of an overturned tanker trunk on Interstate 405 in Bellevue may not have made it into Lake Washington, but has seeped into soil around the crash site.

The Washington State Patrol says the crash happened just before 10 p.m. Sunday night. It was caused when a car went out of control and struck the tanker truck, causing it to overturn. The driver of the car was taken to a Bellevue hospital. The truck driver was not injured.

The Bellevue Fire Department says the tanker held a total of about 7,000 gallons of gas, and that about 3,500 spilled out in the crash.

The trucking company hired a cleanup contractor to corral gasoline from making its way into nearby Yarrow Creek and Lake Washington.

Both the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Environmental Protection Agency are working on monitoring the area around the crash site as well.

Though the gasoline flowed into a storm water canal that leads to Lake Washington, it does not appear to have made it there yet. Booms were set up in several areas to slow down and capture the gasoline. But it's too late to stop most of the spill from seeping into soil near the intersection of Interstate 405 and State Route 520 in Bellevue.

Excavation equipment was brought in to dig up and remove the top layers of dirt there were saturated with gasoline. So far, it does not appear the spill has killed or injured wildlife.

An EPA air quality team set up monitoring stations near the crash site and a nearby pediatricians clinic. If monitors show levels reaching the unacceptable range, they will evacuate buildings. However, it appears the odors are dissipating.

The Washington State Department of Ecology says nobody is in immediate danger, but if you smell a significant amount of fuel, call the fire department. You can also call DOE at 425-649-7000.