Diesel fuel spilled into the edge of Goldstream park today after a tractor trailer punctured a fuel tank on Sooke Lake Road in Langford.
It appears the driver was trying to turn a 40-foot tractor trailer to the right from Humpback Road onto Sooke Lake Road. Emergency officials said when he couldn’t make the turn, he reversed the truck, backed into curb and possibly a sign, and ruptured a fuel tank.
“It looks like he was trying to take a right hand turn … and due to the size of the vehicle, he had difficulty maneuvering and caught his diesel saddle tank on the curb,” said Langford assistant fire Chief Scott Davidson.
Emergency officials estimate about 30 gallons (115 litres) escaped onto the road and flowed toward Goldsteam park property that abuts that intersection.
Davidson said a quick acting Capital Region water services employee from the nearby reservoir facility was laying out absorbent pads when fire crews arrived at around 2:30 p.m.
“Approximately 30 gallons of diesel is unaccounted for, so that would be on the road and in the soil,” Davidson said. “It penetrated approximately 10 feet into the soil, but plenty of distance so it didn’t affect the creek at all.
“It’s more inconvenient for the neighbours,” he noted. “It’s 30 gallons on the ground, but at least it didn’t get to the Goldstream creek area.” That same creek suffered a disastrous gasoline and diesel spill nearly one year ago.
West Shore RCMP and fire crews evacuated Ma Miller’s Pub and a convenience store at the intersection. Nobody was removed from nearby homes and no one was injured in the incident. A CRD hazmat crew and mobile command centre also arrived to help with the cleanup.
Maria Madison, a resident of Shaylee Place, waited behind the fire tape to get into her nearby home with five children. Residents of Shaylee Place were allowed to cross the fire tape, but only by foot.
Firefighters circled the truck with absorbent booms and crews from Victoria Contracting and Municipal Maintenance (VCMM) spread layer upon layer of sand over the roadway.
On Friday, Langford engineering acting manager Michelle Mahovlich said the City hauled away about one dump truck worth of contaminated soil from the shoulder of Sooke Lake Road.
An environmental consultant will test the soil for the level of diesel contamination, which will determine where the soil can be dumped. Mahovlich said Langford plans to bill the trucking company for the work.
It’s unclear why such a large vehicle was driving on Humpback or Sooke Lake roads. Humpback is especially narrow and windy. The truck bore Ontario plates, and Davidson suspects the driver was lost.
“I sure he has probably taken a wrong turn, this being a residential neighbourhood,” Davidson said.