By Curt Hart, Spills Program
The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), South King Fire & Rescue, Port of Seattle, Renton and Boeing fire departments are responding to a 9,000-gallon aviation gasoline spill that caught fire and is still burning just off U.S. Interstate 5 in Federal Way.
All traffic lanes on I-5 are open.
The fuel spill and fire occurred after a tanker truck owned by Lee & Eastes Tank Lines and two cars were involved in fatal crash early this morning on southbound I-5 near exit 142 in Federal Way. The driver of the semi-tractor trailer truck was killed.
The fuel truck and trailer left the freeway and rolled, breaking through several concrete sound barriers. As a result, both fuel tankers burst and released the aviation gasoline – which has been burning since first responders arrived.
Firefighters are conducting a controlled burn of the remaining fuel that spilled from the trailers – including applying aqueous firefighting foam to flare ups and hot spots when necessary. On-site monitoring has not found any immediate health or safety concerns to nearby homes and businesses.
It is unknown how long the fire will last or how much fuel has been burned. Ecology is on site monitoring potential environmental impacts.
Responders from Lee & Eastes and their private cleanup contractor, NRC-Environmental Services, are working to clean up remaining fuel.
All oil spills cause environmental damage, regardless of size. Oil is toxic to the environment and the damage starts as soon as the oil hits water. A single quart of oil has the potential to foul more than 100,000 gallons of water.