A trucking accident on the northbound lanes of I-495 in Massachusetts near the Mansfield exit, held up traffic in a big way on Thursday, May 3. The Mansfield Fire Department was called out to respond to a semi-truck that had crashed and was leaking diesel fuel near the Mansfield exit. The call came in around 10:36 am. Fire responders found that the truck, a 50-foot-long vehicle, had lodged itself in nearby trees, and the fuel case was cracked and leaking diesel into a nearby stream, according to Fire Chief Boldrighini.
The driver of the semi was trapped in the cab when rescue workers arrived. Emergency crews had to use chain saws to cut the cab open and extricate the driver. He was taken to nearby medical facilities, but his injuries were apparently non life-threatening, according to Boldrighini.
Approximately 200 gallons of fuel had been spilled by the time booms and pads were put in place to contain the flow into the stream.
“Due to their efforts the leak was considered by DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) to essentially be held to a 200-300 foot area only,” said the fire chief.
Response crews, including the Massachusetts Highway Department, had to work diligently to clear away brush and tress that were entangling the truck, allowing wrecker crews to pull the vehicle away. The extrication operation disrupted traffic for several hours, but wasn’t the worst of the problem. Cleanup of the diesel spill with DEP help and expertise was expected to last for several days from the time of the accident. Chemical spills are not easy to clean up and can pose a hazard to the lives of wildlife and people alike, as well as leaving lasting damage to the environment. Truck accidents do far more than hold up traffic or leave behind obvious physical damage — chemical spills are an all to real and all too easy occurrence in such an incident.