Tanker crash leads to gas spill in Ringling

Ringling_A tanker rolled over and spilled 85-hundred gallons of gasoline at the intersection of Highway 70 and Highway 89 in Ringling. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department said they got the call about 4:30 Monday morning. They say the driver of the truck lost control, causing the truck to tip on its side and spill the fuel.

Officials closed 2 highways for hours while they cleaned up the mess. "There was fluid running down the streets going everywhere, and the main objective at that point was to get all four intersections blocked off and we started evacuating in a two block area," said Emergency Manager Mike Skinner.

Getting clean-up crews to the area quickly was important. "People coming out in the mornings smoking a cigarette or just cars driving up and down the road, the exhaust off car engines could ignite it, could have been a bad deal," said clean-up Supervisor Reg Deaton.

Officials first removed the truck and then sucked the loose gas out of the ditches and drains. They removed and tested the soil to see how far the gasoline penetrated it. Crews will continue to test the surrounding soil for days to come.

Jefferson County Sheriff Michael Bryant says the gas spill could have been much more dangerous had it not been for Monday's high winds. "What you don't want is no wind blowing and having a lot of fumes pooling down into a ditch or holes somewhere because that's what can explode."

The truck driver was not hurt.