By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — A semi truck carrying animal waste products caused a hazmat spill Saturday morning, Aug. 1, leading the Newkirk fire and police departments to temporarily close several lanes of Main Street in order to clean up the waste.
The NFD received the call about 10:30 a.m.
The accident occurred when a semi truck carrying the material braked at the stoplight downtown. It is believed that the truck was carrying a load of animal waste products from a slaughterhouse-type facility, which included intestines of several livestock species. The truck was headed for Collinsville, Okla., near Tulsa.
“The semi truck didn’t have the trailer tarped, and he was coming down Main Street, caught a yellow light, didn’t think he was going to make it, hit the brakes and sloshed a lot of animal material out on the roadway,” said Newkirk Fire Chief Adam Longcrier.
Although the primary cleanup location was centered on Seventh Street and Main, first responders had to close portions of South Main Street, as vehicles were driving through the area before the scene could be closed off, stretching the cleanup to Ninth Street. The NPD assisted in the lane closures.
“We had to shut down two lanes going from Sixth Street to Seventh Street, and shut it down to one lane from Seventh Street to Ninth Street,” Longcrier said. “Before we got there, the cars driving through the area were tracking it down the street. We had to shut down the road to get the mess cleaned up.”
To clean up the mess, the NFD used bags of floor cleanup material to soak up the contaminants. The NFD exhausted a supply they had at the station, and are thankful to Troy Brower, who brought in an extra pallet of the material to finish the job, Longcrier said.
The truck stopped along the street, which allowed city workers to dump the material back in the truck during the cleanup.
“We had to call out one of the service center workers. We were able to use the city tractor and get (the material) dropped back in the truck,” he said.
Although the scene was contaminated by animal waste products, very little blood was actually reported, but first responders still treated it as a hazmat scene to be safe.
“We considered it a hazardous material, and we had to do a complete cleanup of the road,” he said. “There wasn’t really a lot of blood.”
The NFD would like to thank other Newkirk city departments for assistance in the cleanup process, including the NPD and public works department for the tractor to load the material back in the truck.