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Fire crews block hot tar leaking from overturned tanker from spilling into Great Miami River

Environmental damage minimized, sheriff says
Posted at 1:13 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 19:37:02-04

MIAMI TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Fire and hazmat crews acted quickly to contain hot tar leaking from an overturned tanker and keep it from polluting the nearby Great Miami River Thursday morning, officials said.

A tanker carrying 5,800 gallons of tar heated to 350 degrees overturned about 11 a.m. on Lawrenceburg Road just west of Shawnee Lookout Road, according to officials. Nearly 2,000 gallons leaked into a ditch but "caused minimal environmental damage due to the response," according to a release from Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil.

Neil credited the Miami Township and Whitewater Township fire departments, the Greater Cincinnati Hazmat Unit, the Hamilton County Engineer's Office, the Ohio EPA and the sheriff's office for minimizing the damage.

The 1800 block of Lawrenceburg Road will be closed through Monday for cleanup and roadway repair, Neil said.

Crews have to wait for the tar to cool before trying to remove it, Miami Township Fire Chief Steve Ober told WCPO 9. A special contractor will be called in.

"They'll literally have to scrape or grind it back up," Ober said.

Fire crews block hot tar leaking from overturned tanker from spilling into Great Miami River

The driver, Darrell Byer, 51, of Muncie, Indiana, suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene, Neil said. Byer was cited for failing to maintain reasonable control of his vehicle.

Byer's vehicle was coming out of a curve when it struck a guardrail and went off the right side of the road into a ditch, Neil said. Speed and impairment were not factors.