Truck Dumps Hydraulic Oil on New London Streets

The city had to shut down several downtown streets on Wednesday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCConnecticut.com
    A garbage truck with a broken hydraulic line spilled oil on streets through downtown New London on Wednesday.

    An oil spill shut down a good chunk of the roads in downtown New London for hours.

    The streets of downtown New London became slippery and then dusty as crews, under the guidance of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, covered them with an oil absorbent.

    At about 9.30 Wednesday morning officials say a hydraulic line blew on an All Waste garbage truck. DEEP says it leaked about 65 gallons of hydraulic oil. It forced the shut down of streets mostly around the post office and town hall.

    Thin paths of the oil covered several streets in New London because the garbage truck driver drove around not realizing what had happened, officials said. New London was able to keep those roads open to traffic by putting down sand.

    "By the location of the leak and the engine, the noises and everything, he just didn't hear it," said New London Fire Marshal Calvin Darrow. He called it the largest hydraulic oil spill he's ever had to deal with. "It's very slippery. It's not motor oil. It's hydraulic oil. If we get any rain it's going to make the situation worse. Plus, it'll track it down to the waterways," said Darrow.

    Fortunately the weather held and the DEEP reported that the leak had no impact to the environment.

    But it did impact a local business at the corner of Washington and Methodist Street. The leak blocked the Thames Barber Shop Parking lot and all day owner Louis Pica, who has been in business for nearly 50 years, saw his customers just keep on driving.

    "This has never happened before. What can I do about it? Nothing I can do," said Pica.

    Finally one man in need of a haircut did show up but had to do a bit of maneuvering to reach the shop.

    "I did a little bit of jumping. It's a bit dangerous in these shoes, but I leapt over the oil and got over it unscathed," said Sebastian DeSantis.

    A representative from All Waste told NBC Connecticut that the company will cover all costs. Officials estimate that will easily be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

    The representative added that this is the first time in his 15 years of being with the company that this has ever happened.

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