Diesel Fuel Semi Tanker Rollover

One day from HK’s windows, we could see I-80's eastbound traffic slowing to a crawl, as curious drivers tried to see what was happening across the interstate. At the same time, westbound traffic became nonexistent. Sure enough, Hydro-Klean soon received a call about a 6,000-gallon, MC 306-tanker rollover accident just up the road from us on the I-80/I-35’s mixmaster ramp.

The rollover resulted in the release of approximately 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel that spread over three lanes of traffic and eventually migrated to the interstate's south ditch area. Roadway slickness, along with the potential for contamination of area easements, presented the most immediate concerns.

Multi-Agency Response
When HK arrived at the site, a slew of different state, local and county agencies were on hand to survey and respond to the accident. Passing motorists and paramedics assisted the injured driver, who soon was airlifted to a Des Moines hospital. Police shut down the interstate and redirected traffic to another route. IDNR, Des Moines HAZMAT, Hydro-Klean, 100 emergency responders and five fire departments took immediate action to clean up the area.

Hydro-Klean put absorbent pads and booms in place to prevent further fuel runoff in the ditch areas. At the same time, the firefighters released several hundred gallons of vapor suppression foam on and around the tanker to prevent fire hazards.

Once the fire teams applied the foam, Des Moines HAZMAT tapped into each of the five tanker compartments, cutting holes so that Hydro-Klean personnel could pump out the remaining product and transfer the diesel fuel into another transport truck. We safely transferred approximately, 4,500 gallons of remaining product.

Interstate Cleanup
Daylight was fading when crews righted and towed away the semi, allowing HK to clean the interstate pavement. IDOT crews applied sand to soak up the remaining product on the roadway and prevent slipperiness. Finally, Hydro-Klean ran its street sweeper to collect the sand/fuel mixture and within an hour, motorists were heading west again.

In the days following the spill, our task was remediation. Hydro-Klean coordinated the removal of approximately 500 tons of contaminated soil. New soil was then brought in, graded and readied for reseeding next spring.

Successful Teamwork
This cleanup was successful due both to a quick response and well-coordinated teamwork among all the people and agencies involved. Hydro-Klean received a lot of positive feedback and many thanks for their team’s efforts, including acknowledgement on local news stations.

Back to Project Library
Fire personnel apply foam vapor suppressant.