By Russell Hixson
STILLWATER, Okla. — Emergency crews spent a long Sunday night diffusing a dangerous situation. After carefully draining fuel from a tanker that overturned in an electrical substation and hauling the vehicle out with two massive wreckers, crews opened Perkins Road from Redbud Drive to McElroy Road shortly after 1 a.m.
The road was closed at 7 a.m. Sunday shortly after the wreck occurred. No one was injured in the wreck, officials said. Workers continued cleaning up soil and debris tainted with diesel fuel Monday to be shipped to a hazerdous waste facility. The walking path near the substation was destroyed and remains closed.
The tanker, carrying thousands of gallons of gasoline and diesel, wrecked when it attempted to avoid a car pulled over on the shoulder, crashing into a substation. It landed 3 feet from a 69,000 volt power structure which had to be powered down. The tanker's diesel compartment ruptured, prompting several businesses and homes to be evacuated.
Stillwater Public Safety Director Norman McNickle said crews had to slowly drill multiple 3 1/2 inch holes to pump the fuel into another tanker. Foam had to be pumped in and flushed out several times to get rid of volatile vapors.
"It was a great cooperative effort," McNickle said, praising the multiple groups that responded including OG&E, Stillwater Fire Department, two wrecker companies, Stillwater Police Department and hazardous materials companies.