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US Coast Guard, DEP Respond to Salem Fuel Spill

Local fire officials helped clean up a fuel spill in downtown Salem Tuesday.

An environmental clean-up company was still working Wednesday to clean up what was left of a Tuesday morning fuel spill that extended more than a half-mile down Bridge Street.

At 7:59 a.m. Tuesday, local police and firefighters responded to the rear of 280 Bridge St. after learning that a locomotive leaving Salem Station on a commercial rail toward Peabody was leaking number 2 fuel oil, Deputy Fire Chief Gerry Giunta said.

Giunta said fuel from the leak ran all the way from the intersection of Pearl and Bridge streets to the F.W. Webb Company and the size of the problem prompted him to call for a second fire engine and additional absorbent pads.

"As bad as it was, it could have been a lot worse," Giunta said. "None of (the fuel) entered the nearby waterways, the DEP as well as the US Coast Guard were engaged in the operation, so all of the agencies were involved."

By 9:45 a.m., Giunta said the Pan Am Railroad Co. had workers from the Newburyport-based Enpro Services Inc. on the scene working to move the damaged locomotive and clean up the spill.

Representatives of the US Coast Guard and the state's Department of Environmental Protection were also called to the scene by ENPRO representatives, Giunta said.

The spill is believed to have been caused by a damaged hose-line that was supposed to pump fuel back into the locomotive's storage tank.

Salem Patch will be posting additional information as it becomes available.

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