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Semi trailer accident near Walgett

Published: 30th November 2007

This evening firefighters from Walgett and Hazmat specialists from Dubbo responded to a semi trailer that had overturned on the Gwydir Highway 45 kilometres east of Walgett. On arrival crews found a B-Double trailer overturned with its contents of paint and thinners spread along the side of the road and the prime mover and A-trailer blocking the highway. The driver had escaped with no injuries. Fire crews secured the scene and decanted the diesel fuel from the truck into 200 litre Hazmat drums. Due to the remote location of the incident, the highway was closed down overnight with police securing the scene. The following morning, with assistance from firefighters from Narrabri, Coonamble and Gilgandra, crews removed and separated all drums containing thinners onto pallets for recovery. On-scene bund walls were constructed to reduce the risk of contaminants entering a water course located about 300 metres away. This proved to be a wise strategy as just prior to final clean up of incident, thunder storms with heavy rain and lightning hit the area. The remaining spilt products were removed by front end loader for disposal, under direction of the Department of Environment and Climate Change.