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Tuesday September 1st, 2015 6:11AM

Overturned rig drenches Highway 369 with cooking oil

By Alyson Shields Reporter
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CUMMING - Clean-up crews are working hard to prevent cooking oil from an overturned tanker accident from Wednesday morning from reaching Lake Lanier.

The tanker overturned around 8:48 a.m. and burst, drenching Highway 369 with food-grade cooking oil.

According to Forsyth County Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers, a semi-truck overturned on the road directly in front of Fire Station 9, near Jot-Em-Down and Little Mill Road.

"He was loaded with approximately 6,000 gallons of food-grade cooking oil. Unfortunately, when the truck overturned the tank did rupture," said Shivers. "From that point forward throughout the day today we've been dealing with what is classified as hazardous materials spilled."

The company responsible for the rig has hired a private contractor for mitigation efforts.

Shivers said crews would likely be there well into the evening and possibly Thursday morning. The road is expected to reopen at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Approximately 3,500 to 4,000 gallons of the oil was spilled when the tanker burst.

"Unfortunately it has spilled into some small tributaries that work their way to Lake Lanier eventually," said Shivers. "That's been of our utmost concern is staying ahead of that product and keeping it contained and keeping it from working its way into Lake Lanier."

Shivers said the driver of the truck was sent to a local hospital for the treatment of injuries, but he is expected to recover. No one else was involved in the accident. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Multiple agencies assisted in the case, including the Forsyth County Fire Department, Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia DOT, Georgia Environmental Protection Division, US EPA, various Forsyth County agencies, the trucking company and the private company hired by the trucking company handling the clean up.
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