Emergency responders work to contain fuel spill on I-79

Sep. 21—FAIRMONT — Wednesday afternoon, local emergency responders were called to the Interstate 79 northbound onramp at mile marker 139 to contain a diesel fuel spill.

A tractor trailer hauling fuel broke a drive shaft on the ramp. The break punctured the truck's fuel tank, which caused diesel to spill along the ramp before the truck was able to come to a stop before merging onto the freeway.

The Winfield District Volunteer Fire Department was on the scene first, followed Valley VFD and the White Hall Fire Department. Winfield District Assistant Chief Mark Niggemyer was leading the scene.

"We had to shut the ramp down to keep from getting diesel tracked onto the Interstate," Niggemyer said. "We had to shut down the slow lane because it has spilled into the road."

Responders estimate between 40 to 50 gallons of fuel were spilled onto the roadway.

At 2:30 p.m. firefighters were directing traffic away from the spill awaiting a response from the West Virginia Division of Highways to help clean up the spill. The onramp was closed to traffic while first responders were on scene.

At 4:10 p.m. the scene was cleared and the ramp was reopened.

At 4:35 p.m. staff from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection were on the scene conducting an investigation of the impact and testing nearby water sources for contamination. There were no injuries in connection to the spill.

Reach David Kirk at 304-367-2522 or by email at dkirk@timeswv.com.