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Massive oil spill closes city street

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It is believed that a truck carrying used oil spilt its load in Lennox Street yesterday.

A section of Lennox Street was closed yesterday after it is believed a truck spilt cooking oil in the road. Picture: Danie van der Lith

A LARGE section of Lennox Street was closed yesterday afternoon after a massive oil spill.

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson, Sello Matsie, said yesterday that it was believed that a truck loaded with used cooking oil had caused the spill.

“At this stage, we suspect that the truck loaded the oil from a supermarket or a shop in the CBD, and forgot to close the valve. As a result the oil spilt all the way from the Department of Safety and Security building in Lennox Street to the Caltex garage on the corner of Du Toitspan Road,” said Matsie.

The municipality was alerted by a motorist whose vehicle had skidded in the oil. “He phoned us and said that something was not right and then shortly afterwards we received several more calls.”

Matsie said that the municipality immediately dispatched its emergency vehicles.

“On the way, we realised that the spill was far greater than initially expected. It was spread over a distance of about 2-3km. We were very fortunate that there were no accidents as a result of the oil and the road was closed and motorists diverted by traffic officials who were on the scene.”

The municipality’s fire department covered the spill with three bakkie loads of rock dust and were still busy working late yesterday afternoon.

“The rock dust will absorb the oil and once this has been done, the road should be safe again for motorists and will be reopened.”

According to Matsie, the truck responsible had not been located by yesterday afternoon. “However, we are confident that we will be able to trace it and the owners will be responsible for the costs involved in the clean-up.

“This seems to be pure negligence and we are just lucky that no one was injured or even killed.”

Traffic was disrupted in Lennox Street due to an oil spill in the road. Picture: Danie van der Lith