NEW ALBANY • Clean-up continued well into the night on Monday, Aug. 2, after a tank truck leaked chicken fat onto New Albany city streets, onto I-22, and onto Highway 30 West trailing out of town, first responders said.
There were no reported injuries from the fat-slickened roads.
On Tuesday, New Albany Fire Chief Mark Whiteside outlined what happened:
Just after 3:30 p.m. on Monday, New Albany police were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident near Highway 15, 348, and East Bankhead.
“When officers arrived, they found a considerable amount of liquid on the roadway, causing a very slippery condition,” the chief said.
More police officers, along with all available law enforcement personnel from New Albany, Union Sheriff’s Department, and MHP were requested. Union County Emergency Management and New Albany Fire personnel were also dispatched because of the number of calls coming in from various parts of town about something oily on the road.
“The trail of extremely slick substance was traced from the east side of the city, onto Interstate 22, exiting at Munsford, where it trailed back to Highway 30 west and out of town,” Whiteside said.
Whiteside said his department received information that the slimy substance was leaking from the top of a tank truck, originating from a bio diesel facility on Highway 15 at North Haven.
Emergency officials contacted the facility and quickly identified the slippery product as chicken fat.
Personnel at the facility contacted the truck company driver who had been stopped in Lafayette County because of the leak.
The driver returned to New Albany and met with EMA officials and the Fire Department to find out what happened.
“Apparently there had been some mechanical issues unloading and the product, which was chicken fat, did not unload properly,” Whiteside said. “The top hatch on the tank may not have been secured as it should have been, and when the truck/trailer would stop and start again, significant amounts of product would leak from the trailer and out on the ground.”
MDOT crews from Union County placed sand or dirt on the roadway to lessen the slippy effects of the film. EMA Director Curt Clayton contacted MDOT, the truck company safety directors, driver, Department of Environmental Quality, representatives from the facility on 15 at North Haven, clean-up crews and others involved in the incident.
A team contacted by the truck company handled clean-up, which continued well into the late evening hours.
Whiteside said the situation triggered a lot of jokes.
“There were so many puns yesterday, and I’ve heard them all,” Whiteside said. “It was like ice. We were told we went from the Snow Storm of 2021 and making sure people didn’t slide off-road to Chicken Fat Storm 2021, making sure people didn’t slide off the road.”