Emergency crews were called to a semi-trailer unit rollover southeast of Estevan on Thursday night.
Fire Chief Dale Feser said the fire department, along with the Estevan RCMP and Emergency Medical Services, were called to the rollover just after 10 p.m. The incident occurred just east of the Roche Percee valley along Highway 39.
The semi wound up about 50 feet from the highway.
The semi unit was carrying about 36 cubic metres of sweet crude oil on board.
“We began mitigation of the leaks to the vessel,” said Feser. “The crews were able to slow, however, not stop the leak, and in co-ordinated efforts with the trucking company, we were able to get another highway transport truck to offload the materials on board that hadn’t spilled.”
Feser called it a very well-run scene in terms of collaborative efforts.
“We had to wait for specialized individuals to arrive from Williston (N.D.) on scene,” said Feser.
Environmental damage was minimal. About 100 litres of oil leaked from the truck, with approximately 20 litres spilling onto the ground before the fire department arrived. All of the oil that was leaked was able to be captured.
Traffic impacts were also minimal, as one-way traffic was able to proceed without rerouting, except for a brief stretch Friday morning, when recovery crews with the towing companies arrived on scene to try to remove the semi-trailer unit. Detours were in place for about five minutes for lighter vehicles, while commercial vehicles remained on Highway 39.
The driver, who suffered minor injuries, was taken to hospital via ambulance, treated for those injuries, and released. The fire chief was surprised to see the driver walking around considering the extent of the damage to the truck.
Feser noted the fire department didn’t return to Estevan until about 7:40 a.m. Friday morning.
Next week’s edition of the Mercury will have more on this story.