HUGHESVILLE - Route 220 from Main Street to Lime Bluff Road was closed for much of Friday after borough police stopped a low-boy trailer that was leaking an undetermined amount of non-corrosive frack fluid, according to Police Chief Jason Gill.
The spill may extend as far east as 30 miles or more into Columbia County along Route 118, Gill said.
Unbeknowst to the driver, the fluid was leaking from one of about a dozen 100-gallon containers on a trailer that was en route to Williamsport from Dimock, Gill said.
The 911 center was alerted to the leak as the trucker was making his way into the borough, and Gill caught up with it shortly after it turned off Main Street on to Route 220 South. The officer stopped the truck at Broad Street about noon.
The containers on the trailer were secured by straps, and one of the straps broke, Gill said. "When it did, a hook on the strap punctured one of the containers," he said, calling the incident "a freak accident."
The trailer is owned by Frac Tech Services of Williamsport, Gill said.
"They have been very professional, and they were very quick to respond with a team to help with the clean-up effort," Gill said of the company.
The state Department of Transportation and Minuteman Towing and Repairs Inc. also had several personnel assisting with recovering the liquid.
"It's not hazardous at all until it mixes with water, then it becomes as slippery as ice," Gill explained, adding that the clean-up crews want to get the substance off the road as soon as possible.
"It will probably be daylight before they (the crews) are out of the borough," Gill said late Friday night in a telephone interview.
Volunteer fire police from the borough and Picture Rocks assisted in detouring motorists around the affected area. No information was available on what traffic detours were going to be needed today as the clean-up continued east along Route 118.
"The entire stretch of the spill could be 35 to 40 miles," Gill said.
He said it was unknown how much liquid leaked because all of the containers on the trailer contained various amounts of different substances.