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"Fuel Truck Crash at Oakland Airport Causes 14,000 Gallon Spill"

Friday, November 11, 2005

14,000 gallons of jet fuel spilled on airport's tarmac
The Tri-Valley (CA) Herald

OAKLAND - A tanker truck spilled almost all of its 14,000-gallon load of jet
fuel Thursday morning when it turned too sharply and hit a concrete bollard
on the tarmac at Oakland International Airport.
About 500 gallons spilled onto the asphalt and got into a storm drain, but
it was contained and pumped from a catch basin, according to environmental

None of the highly volatile JP-8 fuel harmed any people or got into the Bay,
they and airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes reported. Breathing the fuel
can cause dizziness and headaches and contact can cause scratchy eyes and
severe skin irritation. It contains kerosene, benzene and naphthalene, among
other dangerous chemicals. 

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California
Department of Fish and Game, about 10,000 gallons of fuel were caught in a
back-up containment area and 2,000 gallons more were treated by an oil-water
separation tank. 

The airport's treatment system worked as planned, regulators said. 

The mishap occurred about 7:30 a.m. at the airport's south field off Alan
Shepard Way, Barnes said. The truck belonged to aviation fuel firm Swissport
USA, officials said. 

Barnes said the fuel being transferred was for aircraft that did not have
their own terminal ramp. 

Twenty Oakland firefighters, including members of the department's hazmat
teams, and six Port of Oakland workers responded to the spill, which
prompted calls to the EPA, Alameda County Environmental Health Department
and the U.S. Coast Guard. Despite the success of the containment system
firefighters had to use large amounts of absorbent in the cleanup, Lt.
Melinda Drayton said . 

The spill was considered secured by 10:15 a.m. Barnes said no airport
operations were impacted and there were no injuries. Barnes said airport
officials were still investigating the cause of the accident, which federal
environmental agencies chalked up to driver error.

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