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UPDATE: Highway 4 reopens after roughly 24-hour closure caused by flipped fuel truck

“The road is open to single lane alternating traffic.”
The Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade helps deal with a fuel spill after roughly 3000 L of jet fuel spilled out of a fuel truck that had tipped over on Highway 4 Thursday afternoon. (Photo-Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade)

Highway 4 reopened to single-lane alternating traffic around 4:30 p.m. Friday.

The only road between the West Coast and the rest of Vancouver Island was closed for about 24 hours as responders attended to a fuel spill caused when a tanker truck hauling jet fuel flipped onto its side near Hydro Hill around 3 p.m. on Thursday.

The incident occurred roughly 33 kilometres east of the Tofino-Ucluelet junction.

The truck’s driver was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Ucluelet RCMP.

“Based upon a mass balance calculation provided by the responsible party, it is estimated up to 3000 L of fuel may have been lost,” according to a statement released by the District of Ucluelet at 1:50 p.m. Friday. “Once transfer operations conclude – a better determination can be made.”

The release added that an on-water assessment is being conducted by Western Canadian Marine Response Corporation in conjunction with Ministry of Environment staff and TerraWest Environmental.

Through a statement released Friday morning, the Ministry of Envronment said “no drinking water suppliers were identified near the incident site.”

Ucluelet mayor Dianne St. Jacques expressed gratitude for the hard work of her community’s first responders.

“I want to thank the members of the Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade for their work as first responders to the accident on Highway 4,” she said. “They were on scene from mid-afternoon until after midnight, working to contain the spill and assisting with medical expertise when it was required…District staff in the Emergency Operations Centre provided support to the crew on-scene and provided information to the public as it came in.”

She added the highway’s closure illustrated the need for a car ferry service between Port Alberni and Ucluelet.

Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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