Crews respond to fuel spill on 696

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published October 11, 2017

No one was injured in an early morning freeway crash that resulted in a fuel spill.

According to Capt. Rick Scheich, of the Southfield Fire Department, a Michigan State Police trooper responded at around 6:20 a.m. Oct. 11 to westbound I-696, near the Greenfield overpass, on a report of a crash.

When police arrived, they discovered that the driver of a semitruck had lost control of the vehicle, slammed into the median wall underneath the bridge and jackknifed across the freeway, Scheich said.

Neither the driver of the truck nor other drivers on the road at the time were injured, he said. Traffic was down to one lane because the trailer was spread across multiple lanes of the freeway.

When Fire Department crews arrived they began the process of cleaning up the scene. Six firefighters and two MSP troopers responded to the accident.

“The trailer punched a hole in the fuel tank,” Scheich said. “It was leaking diesel fuel. Around 100 gallons were collected in a drain pool, and some was caught prior to us arriving on scene.”

Scheich explained that crews used an absorbent, clay-based material called Floor-Dry to create a dam around the spill, and they placed a 100-gallon pool filled with Floor-Dry underneath the fuel tank.

The absorbed fuel was taken by the towing company that responded to the scene, he said. A Michigan Department of Transportation street sweeper was called to the scene to collect the rest of the Floor-Dry on the roadway.

The Southfield Department of Public Works also went to the scene to spread sand across the road.

“Once the street sweeper was done we put sand down so it wouldn’t be slick. I don’t want accidents happening all day from rain and diesel fuel,” Scheich said. “(Floor-Dry) is clay-based, so once it mixes with water it becomes slippery. We put the sand down for friction material.”

Crews finished up at the scene at around 10 a.m., he said.