Rail Fuel Tank Ruptures, Spills Diesel

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 @ 02:10 PM gHale


A Pan Am Railways locomotive suffered a punctured fuel tank on tracks in Devens, MA, Sunday and spilled about 2,400 gallons of diesel fuel, state officials said.

Ayer firefighters were called to the area behind 51 Independence Drive in Devens about 6:30 p.m.

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Ed Coletta, director of public affairs for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), said a locomotive was traveling on tracks behind a large warehouse when the fuel tank punctured.

It was not immediately clear whether something struck the fuel tank or whether the puncture was the result of a mechanical issue.

The puncture caused an estimated 2,400 gallons of diesel fuel to spill along a roughly 300-foot section of tracks, Coletta said.

DEP sent an emergency response team to the scene, but that it was mostly the tracks and soil around them that ended up affected. There was no threatened surface water or wetlands in the area of the spill, Coletta said.

Pan Am hired a contractor to clean the spill as firefighters and DEP remained at the scene.

“It seems to be under control,” Coletta said.

Ayer firefighters said there were no reported injuries.

Firefighters said the effort to cleanup the spill would likely be ongoing for quite some time in the rail yard behind industrial properties off Independence Drive.

A spokeswoman for Pan Am Railways did not immediately reply to a message.



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