Chemical spill near Hampshire leads to road closure

Ryan Ross
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No one was hurt when a tractor and spreader fell off a trailer near Hampshire (Prince Edward Island) around noon Thursday (June 14).

A chemical spill that occurred when a trailer overturned near Hampshire, Prince Edward Island led to a road closure in the area on June 14.

Fire marshal Dave Rossiter said a farmer was getting ready to do some spraying and was driving down the road when an axle on the back of the trailer broke.

"The trailer and the tractor rolled into the ditch," he said.

A tank on the front of the trailer and one on the sprayer were full of a combination of water, herbicide and fungicide, while the tractor was full of diesel fuel, Rossiter said.

The farmer made the initial call around noon and by about 3:30 p.m. the tractor was back on its wheels to get it off the road.

A section of Route 225 was closed for several hours while crews worked to clean up the spill and move the farm equipment.

Vehicles from emergency response crews filled the lawn of a nearby farm and by late afternoon the only signs of the spill were a patch of small patch of dirt spread in the ditch and materials spread on the road to absorb the chemicals.

Rossiter said the property owner made all the necessary calls to the RCMP and the environment department.

The North River Fire Department also responded, but by the time they arrived the property owners had contained a lot of the spilled herbicide and pesticide, he said.

Rossiter said the property owner also started to contain some of a diesel leak and the fire department contained more of it once it arrived.

"We had a lot of portable containers here, barrels and what not full of product," he said.

A hazardous materials team responded as a precaution and secured one spill with absorbent clay, while an environmental contractor drained the herbicide and fungicide, Rossiter said.

"There is some spillage in the ditch. Department of Environment are going to be looking after that now as far as what has to be dug up and all that sort of thing."

A spokeswoman for the Environment Department said a representative from the department was at the scene to supervise the cleanup, but no further details were available.

Rossiter said the property owner did everything right, there was good cooperation between everyone involved and it was lucky the situation wasn't worse.

"It was a good test, if nothing else," he said.

Although he didn't know the exact amount of the chemicals spilled, Rossiter estimated it was at most about 50 gallons of the herbicide and fungicide mixture.

The Guardian

Organizations: Department of Environment, RCMP, The North River Fire Department

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