Army tanker rolls off Richardson Highway, spills fuel
A cleanup is under way on the Richardson Highway, after an Army tanker truck in a convoy rolled over Sunday near Salcha.
U.S. Army Alaska spokesman John Pennell said in a statement Tuesday that the crashed vehicle – an M978A4 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, or HEMTT – was carrying more than 1,000 gallons of kerosene-based JP-8 aircraft and vehicle fuel when the vehicle left the roadway and “landed on its side” near Mile 317 of the Richardson, causing an unknown amount of fuel to spill.
“The truck was one of a group of military vehicles returning to Fort Wainwright after providing fuel to units participating in exercise Arctic Eagle,” Pennell wrote. “The damaged vehicle was recovered Monday, March 5, by about 1 p.m.”
Only minor injuries were reported in the crash, Pennell said.
The cause of the crash was under investigation, according to Pennell, with officials from Fort Wainwright and the state Department of Environmental Conservation examining impacts of the spill.
DEC's Tom DeRuyter said an estimated 650 to 800 gallons of the tanker's roughly 1,150-gallon cargo spilled during the wreck. Several spill cleanup firms have been contracted by the Army to clean up the site, with no immediate impact upon wildlife reported.
"This is near the Tanana River, so that's a concern," DeRuyter said. "Everybody's motivated to get this cleared up as quickly as possible."
The Richardson has seen a number of fuel spills from civilian tankers as well, leading trucking firm Big State Logistics to change hauling policies and pay a $43,000 fine to the EPA over three 2016 wrecks. Another Big State Logistics tanker trailer slid off the road in October near Mile 171 of the highway, although authorities quickly determined that none of its 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel had spilled.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.