Tanker at parkwat rotary new Medford shows neutalized fuel on the road in Arlington police photo.Righted tanker at parkway rotary near Medford with foam covering fuel on the road in Arlington police photo.

Roads reopened

A tanker-truck overturned on the Mystic Valley Parkway on Friday, May 31, spilling as much as 10,000 gallons of home-heating fuel into an area near the Mystic River. 

The truck owned by JP Noonan of West Bridgewater was on its side at the Mystic Valley Parkway and Medford Street.

Chief Fred Ryan said the tanker was coming on to Route 60 from Medford into Arlington when it failed to succesffully make the turn in the rotary and flipped.

As a precaution, several homes in the immediate area were evacuated until the contents of the truck could be identified and the scene secured.


Aftermath: InsideMedford photos >>


Spill fuel fouls Mystic River at Arliongton and West Medford in Matthew Haberstroh photo.Spilled fuel fouls Mystic River at Arlington and West Medford in Matthew Haberstroh photo via Web partner InsideMedford.com.

The fuel was leaking, and the fire department and hazardous-materials teams were setting up booms to contain the spill.

The Mystic Valley Parkway and Medford Street were closed at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

The town announced that as of 9 a.m. Saturday, June 1, all roadways affected by the fuel spill have been reopened to traffic.

Throughout the night and early morning, crews worked to replace the sections of the road that were heavily affacted while continuing cleanup operations on the river and surrounding areas.

While roadways have been reopened, cleanup efforts will continue throughout the weekend. 

At the scene Friday, the Arlington Fire Department reported that the tanker was carrying No. 2 fuel believed to be diesel. Paperwork from the vehicle indicated that the tanker may have been carrying up to 10,000 gallons. Deputy Fire Chief James Bailey Jr. confirmed that report.

Boston.com reported the driver, a 65-year-old Framingham man, is listed in serious condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. 

As of 9 p.m. Friday, the tractor-trailer had been removed from the scene, and crews were working to grind down and repave the road, said Captain Richard Flynn of the Arlington Police Department.

About 4:15 p.m. Friday, members of the Arlington Police Department responded to the area of Medford Street (Route 60) and the Mystic Valley Parkway. On arrival, officers determined that the operator had been ejected from the tanker, which was actively spilling an undetermined amount of fuel on the roadway.

Members of the Arlington Fire/Rescue stabilized the operator on scene before transporting him to Beth Israel with nonlife-threatening injuries.

Additional emergency personnel quickly responded and took all necessary steps to ensure the public’s safety and contain the fuel spill. 

In a 10 p.m. May 31 news release, police said, "At this time state and municipal agencies want to assure the community that this incident does not pose a danger to the public and are now conducting cleanup operations, which areexpected to continue through the night and into Saturday," June 1.

The Arlington Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance as we deal with the aftermath of this incident.

Make every attempt to avoid the area of the Mystic Valley Parkway and Route 60 as emergency crews continue the cleanup efforts.

Medford news release

A news release from Mayor Michael McGlynn said the crash led to spilling about 10,000 gallons of home heating fuel. The fuel ran into the storm drains, which let out directly into the Mystic River.

Medford officials have been coordinating directly with the state Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

McGlynn said in the release: "A major spill like this one falls under the jurisdiction of MassDEP and we are cooperating fully with them in their cleanup efforts. I am very concerned about the effects on the Mystic River and the health of the abutting neighbors and we want to ensure that the Mystic River Watershed Association is fully involved with the situation."

MassDEP explained that residents are likely to continue to smell oil as it is rapidly vaporizing due to the heat and the fumes are being carried on the wind. MassDEP conducted air monitoring last evening and while there are contaminates in the air, no evacuation was deemed necessary as there were no immediate health risks.

Clean Harbors is the licensed site professional overseeing the cleanup under the supervision of MassDEP. It has been onsite since shortly after the spill Friday night. MassDEP and Clean Harbors expect to be on site for approximately a week.

The cleanup is being coordinated from the Arlington side of the river and the primary work site is at the Mystic Valley Parkway and River Street, Arlington (Harvard Street in Medford).

Boston.com reported June 1, quoting police, that more than half of the 10,000 gallons of gas the vehicle was carrying spilled, though officials are not sure exactly how much. 

WickedLocal reported June 1, quoting Chief Ryan, no charges had been filed and the investigation included the possibility that the driver may have had a "medical event."


This story was published at 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 31, 2013, and updated the next two days.