Cumberland Times-News

Local News

April 16, 2014

Overturned tanker upsets Oakland

Emergency operation evacuated business district, area residents

OAKLAND — Two large commercial wreckers were being used at mid-afternoon Wednesday to upright a tanker full of liquid propane that overturned several hours earlier in downtown Oakland and forced evacuation of the business district.

The tanker carrying 10,000 gallons of liquid propane overturned at Oak and Third streets at about 9:35 a.m., detouring traffic from the area to Sand Flat Road and forcing evacuation of the immediate area. The evacuation was performed as a precaution although no fuel leak was reported in the accident.

Another tanker truck was brought in to possibly off-load some of the fuel from the overturned tanker.

“The tanker will be uprighted by using two commercial wreckers for winching and lifting,” said Garrett County Administrator Monty Pagenhardt. “Once the tanker is upright, a damage assessment of the tanker will be completed by the Maryland Department of the Environment and other officials.

“If it is determined that there is a potential for leakage, another fuel commercial tanker is on site and the fuel from the tanker that was overturned will be transferred to a secondary unit,” he said.

Fire and rescue volunteers were on standby at the scene along with Maryland State Highway Administration personnel.

The evacuation included moving 45 prisoners from the Garrett County Detention Center initially to the Southern Garrett Rescue Squad building before being taken later in the day to the Allegany County Detention Center in Cresaptown.

A reverse 911 message was recorded to inform residents in the immediate evacuation area to leave their homes. In addition, the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police went door-to-door to residences and businesses to notify of the evacuation.

Shelters were set up at the Deer Park Volunteer Fire Hall and the Oakland Armory.

The removal of the tanker also necessitated shutting off electrical service to the immediate area.

The outage occurred at about 3:15 p.m., and lasted about an hour, the amount of time needed to remove the upset tanker truck. Up to 120 customers were affected, according to FirstEnergy.

The driver of the tanker reportedly was not injured. The investigation of the accident is being conducted by the sheriff’s office and state police.

Garrett County school buses were rerouted for dismissal from school.

A command post was established at the Garrett County Emergency Operations Center.

Numerous volunteer fire departments responded to the scene along with a State Haz-Mat Team and Maryland Emergency Management Agency and other public safety agencies.

Garrett County’s 911 calls were being handled by the Allegany County 911 center during the incident response.

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