Media Archive

Tanker accident closes road

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 164, No. 22, May 29, 2002

By Sarah MacIlroy
Staff Writer

ATKINSON An overturned propane tanker kept local fire departments, the Piscataquis County Sheriff's Department and fuel company officials busy for nearly seven hours last week.

Lt. Bob Young of the sheriff's department said the accident was reported about 1:14 p.m. on May 23 when an Irving tank truck loaded with propane overturned on the Stagecoach Road in Atkinson.

"Somehow the driver lost control of the truck," explained Young. "He slid back and forth before the truck rolled over and ended up upside down."

During their investigation, the sheriff's department was able to rule out the possibility of mechanical failure as a cause of the accident, but Young could not comment what caused Michael Spencer of Omngton to lose control his vehicleSpencer escaped without serious injury.

Fire departments from Sebec, Milo and Dover-Foxcroft were called in to assist with the accident, as well, and an Irving team from southern Maine worked to off-load the fuel from the overturned tanker into another one.

"At one point, they were concerned about one of the gas chambers with liquid propane in it," he said. "The chamber had started to expand."

Potential danger was averted, but Young said if the accident had hapened in an area with people in it, they would have had to evacuate. As it was, traffic was diverted for several hours while officials worked to secure the scene.

"They (the Irving team) had to unload half of the tanker before they were able to right it," Young explained.


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