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DEP issues fuel caution

Deisel spill vapors, contact harmfull

Workers prepare material to help clean up a fuel spill on Southbridge Road. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
June 14, 2010
CHARLTON — State environmental officials are warning residents of a local condominium complex to avoid contact with gasoline that spilled into wetlands near Cady Brook last week.

Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Edmund Coletta said Cady Brook condominium complex residents on Southbridge Road (Route 169), through which the brook runs, to avoid contact with the fuel and keep pets away from it.

"People should keep their windows closed [until further notice]," Coletta said, because sunlight hitting the fuel can cause potentially harmful gases to be emitted.

At least "several thousand gallons" of diesel fuel spilled from of a tanker truck sometime Thursday or Friday at Charlton Welding & Repair on Griffin Road, according to Coletta. Investigators are still determining how much spilled, but Coletta said that, as of Monday, June 14 cleanup crews had removed a little less than 2,000 gallons. The truck has a capacity of 7,000 gallons, but it is not know how much was in there at the time, Coletta said.

"That is still something that has to be determined," Coletta said of the total amount spilled.

While Coletta said he did not know how the spill occurred, Charlton Welding & Repair owner Larry McKissick blamed it on vandals.

"In the course of the nighttime, somebody came in and took the cap locks off [letting the fuel out]," McKissick said.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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