Updated: Oil spill closes portion of west-end road

Posted: December 4, 2023 8:14 pm | Last Updated: December 4th, 2023 11:29 pm
By Earl Noble

A significant fuel spill caused the closure of a west-end road on Monday evening, and forced personnel to implement emergency plans to deal with the cleanup.

Crews with the St. John’s Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) were called to a section of Forbes Street shortly after 6:30 p.m. following reports of the spill. An employee delivering home heating fuel was attempting to fill an oil tank when furnace oil started spilling onto the road instead of flowing through the hose into the tank.

A significant amount of oil spilled onto the roadway, running downhill towards Topsail Road. The oil covered over two hundred metres of roadway, and ran into several storm drains. Vehicles driving through the spilled fuel carried the oil even farther. From as far away is half a kilometre the smell of furnace oil could be detected.

SJRFD Platoon Chief Dean Foley stated there were no initial estimates on how much fuel had been lost in the spill. Foley also said firefighters went door-to-door in the neighbourhood, updating area residents of the situation and offering instruction on what to do should the smell of the oil become a health concern. A fresh layer of snow and cold temperatures complicated cleanup efforts.

Crews with the City of St. John’s responded to the scene, along with representatives from the oil company involved. Both set into motion emergency plans to deal with the spill, which forced a closure of Forbes Street, between Bartlett Place and Topsail Road, for several hours.

A statement was issued late Monday evening on behalf of Harvey’s Oil:

At approximately 5:40 p.m. a Harvey’s Oil delivery truck had an accidental discharge of oil in the west end of St. John’s during a routine delivery.

The driver immediately actioned Harvey’s emergency response plan, notified first responders, and contacted members of the Harvey’s EHS team. Harvey’s management and service team members were dispatched immediately to assist with the response, containment, and cleanup.

Cleanup is ongoing and Harvey’s will work with authorities to ensure the situation is properly remediated. Harvey’s regrets this incident and any inconvenience to the public. More information will be available as details are known.

NTV News will have more information as it becomes available.

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Earlier Story:

A fuel spill has forced the closure of a portion of Forbes Street, in the west end of St. John’s.

Crews with the St. John’s Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) responded to the scene early Monday evening following reports of a quantity of furnace oil having been spilled from a truck delivering furnace oil.

SJRFD Platoon Chief Dean Foley has stated that personnel with the City of St. John’s and the oil company involved have implemented emergency plans to deal with the spill.

Firefighters have spoken with area residents to update them on the ongoing situation.

The public can expect Forbes Street to remain closed between Topsail Road and Bartlett Place for the foreseeable future.

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