A ruptured diesel tank had containment crews scrambling Monday morning to prevent the spill from spreading into ground water off Red Road.
The diesel began hemorrhaging out of a fuel tank on a long-bed pickup as the driver turned onto Red Road from the bypass. The driver was able to get the truck stopped and parked it beside the access road on Industrial Drive (near the old cheese plant). However, the fuel continued gushing from the ruptured tank, quickly running downhill along Industrial Drive and onto its shoulder.
Elements of McMinnville Fire Department and Tennessee Emergency Management Agency responded. They closed off the access road while they used towels and containment dams in an attempt to prevent the dark fluid from seeping into the ground and then into the ground water.
Firemen say the tank on the pickup had a 30-gallon capacity but were unsure how full the tank was when it ruptured. While the cause of the rupture is unknown, the price tag for cleanup could climb into five figures given environmental regulations that require a licensed cleanup crew be used to ensure the spill is properly contained.
State law requires TEMA be alerted to any diesel spill of five gallons or more.