By Erin Smith
Road blocks and lane closures were put in place early this morning after a 2500 litre petrol spill on a busy Brisbane road.
The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service were called in to clean up the mess, on Breakfast Creek Road at Newstead, while police controlled the traffic.
The tanker at a Shell petrol station leaked about 500 litres of fuel onto the tarmac and the rest leaked down into the storm drain.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Superintendent Noel Harbottle says he thinks one of the valves became stuck while a petrol tanker was unloading fuel.
“We had a tanker unloading and through a malfunction we had some fuel leak onto the tarmac of the petrol station and subsequently went down the drain,” he said.
The Superintendent says it was a small scale spill.
“About 500 litres was on the tarmac of the service station we contained that,” he said.
“We’ve put foam on that and isolated it and we’ve since removed that.
“We had about 2000 litres in the drain, we are continuing to inject foam into the drain system and remove that fuel using a vacuum pump.”
Mr Harbottle says the foam acts as a blanket to ensure no other flammable sources come in contact with the fuel vapours.
“The foam puts a blanket between the flammable vapours and any additional sources,” he said.
“So it isolates the fuel from those flammable additional sources and makes the situation safe,” he said.
Mr Harbottle admittes the petrol spill did present several risks but says the flammable levels are very low above the surface.
“We’ve done a lot of testing with our scientific people the flammable levels are very low,” he said.
“The only area we’ve got high readings are in the drain itself.
“There is a lot of residue and we can get readings from just vapour so at this stage it is just vapour and a bit of fuel.”
The storm drain system the fuel leaked into leads to the Brisbane River, Mr Harbottle says this mornings high tide prevented what could have been a large threat to the environment.
“Currently we have high tide that worked in our favour,” he said.
“That high tide held the water held the fuel back so it was contained in the drain.
“Very little leaked into the Brisbane River.”
Maritime Queensland officials placed booms in the river at the mouth of the drain to prevent any damage when the tide started to subside.
Superintendent Harbottle says they had removed most of the fuel from the drain and another vacuum pump was on the way to suck up the rest.
It’s the residue that’s in the pipe that we want to remove, whilst it’s not overly dangerous the public perception is if there’s a smell there’s fuel about,” he said.