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Jet fuel contaminating water near site of fiery interstate crash

Jet fuel contaminating water near site of fiery interstate crash

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A tanker carrying jet fuel that crashed on I-465 near I-70 on Thursday afternoon left behind several thousands of gallons of fuel. Some of that fuel has made its way into waterways near parks and neighborhoods in Indianapolis, News 8 learned Sunday.

Crews have been working on the cleanup of this jet fuel spill since Friday.

According to officials, there is no immediate health concern to the public, but there is still quite a bit cleanup to be done, and people in the area are still concerned.

John Trimpe and Trevor Cook live near one of the contamination sites being treated for jet fuel.

“I kicked it. It was like gelatinous and moving and it smelled really bad. And it is just a really random place to have three bags of stuff sitting by,” said Trimpe after finding trash bags filled with materials used to soak up the fuel in the water.

The two had no idea that the water near their houses was contaminated with jet fuel.

“If I wouldn’t have ever seen that; I wouldn’t have even known about it,” said Trimpe.

“Yeah I didn’t even know that and I live right down the street,” said Cook.

Officials with the Marion County Health Department say jet fuel and suppression water traveled down the grassy embankment where the crash happened, following a natural path toward Pleasant Run Parkway.

Now environmental cleanup crews are focusing treatment on multiple areas from the site of the crash near I-465 and I-70 on the east side following Pleasant Run Creek from 21st Street to an area near 10th Street and Arlington Avenue.

“It smells kind of like we are at the gas station filling up our tank right now. Really strong,” said Cook.

The tanker was carrying 4,000 gallons of fuel when it crashed. Officials believe a significant number of gallons from the crash made it into the creek.

“You can see like a distinct discoloration in the water, too .. that is pretty thick and it is stronger when you get over here too,” Cook said.

Now crews are using boons to stop the jet fuel from spreading and vacuum trucks to remove the contamination from the ground and the water.

“I live down the street, I drink out of my tap, I shower with that water, and to know that there could be jet fuel in it is really concerning,” said Trimpe.

Viewers sent in photos with concerns over wildlife in the areas that are contaminated by the jet fuel. The health department says there are no significant reports of wild life effected in the areas that are being treated.

Photo courtesy: concerned citizen

It is unclear how much longer the cleanup will take. Jet Star, the Zionsville-based trucking company that owns the truck and the fuel that were involved in the crash, are responsible for hiring the environmental cleanup company and paying for the cleanup.