Christian Talbot & Kaitlyn Offer, 07 April 2016
A blackout may have contributed to a petrol tanker crash in a Victorian town that closed roads and cut power.
Emergency crews worked into Thursday afternoon to right a petrol tanker and contain a 50,000-litre fuel leak after the truck went out of control on a bend and slid on its side into a power pole in Inglewood, near Bendigo, on Wednesday night.
As the situation was given the all-clear on Thursday evening, the Calder Highway was re-opened to one lane through the town and power had been restored to most residents.
Power had gone out in Inglewood about 5pm on Wednesday because of storm activity.
Pauline Wellman, who works at the local motel and caravan park where many people evacuated to, said the town was in darkness.
“The electricity was out hours and hours before the truck hit the pole, so the town was in absolute pitch blackness last night,” she told AAP on Thursday.
“You come off the fastest road and into the town and I would say that the town being dark wouldn’t have helped the truck navigate the bend.”
Police at the scene also told reporters the town was pitch black, and the driver crashed where the speed went from 100km/h to 60km/h.
The Country Fire Authority (CFA) said 28 people were evacuated from their homes at the height of the incident.
Most residents had power restored by 4.30pm on Thursday, but a handful did not get power back until 10pm, as Powercor worked to restore the original fault.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) said the fuel spread up to 1.5km from the crash site and soil was used to stop it flowing into a creek.
“We will work to remove the contamination and it’s most likely that will be through excavation,” the EPA’s Danny Childs told AAP on Thursday.
“We need to scope out the extent of the contamination but these sort of clean-ups take a matter of weeks.”
About 28,000 litres of fuel had been removed from a drain, and pumping would continue on Friday.
The truck’s driver was admitted to hospital with minor injuries and a woman from a house nearby was taken to hospital after falling ill, an ambulance spokesman said.
The truck was towed away from the crash site shortly after 2pm on Thursday.
Local police are investigating the crash, but the resources of the Heavy Vehicle Unit could be used, a police spokeswoman said.
Extracted in full from 7 News.