Hazmat team assists with tanker truck leak following rollover

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Local emergency personnel responded to a semi accident on Jan. 2 that resulted in a tanker filled with milk landing in Harter-Herman Pond along Highway 52 in Guttenberg. Above from left, Assistant Fire Chief Josh Roth looks on as Tim White cuts a hole in the tanker in order to siphon out the milk before the rig was pulled from the pond. (Press photo by Austin Greve)

A team specializing in dealing with hazardous materials was called to Guttenberg the evening of Jan. 2 to assist with a semi rollover that resulted in a milk tank leak.

According to Guttenberg Fire Chief Joe Zittergruen, his department received the call shortly before 6 p.m. about a single-vehicle accident  that resulted in a rollover into Harter-Herman Pond on the west side of the 300 block of North Highway 52. 

"Upon arrival of the first fire personnel, the driver of the vehicle was being attended to by EMS and was transported to Guttenberg Municipal Hospital to assess their injuries and treatment," said Chief Zittergruen.

The truck was transporting milk which began leaking into the pond as a result of the accident. "The only outlet from the pond was sandbagged to prevent any milk from contaminating any other water source," noted the Chief. The Linn County Hazmat team was contacted and soon arrived on the scene.

"Once the Hazmat team arrived, a plan was put together to offload the tanker onto another truck before removing it from the water," said Zittergruen. Approximately 4,800 gallons of milk were offloaded from the tanker.

Tegeler Wrecking and Crane of Dyersville was called to assist and removed the tanker from the water once it was offloaded.

"The Fire Department cleared the scene at 12:50 a.m. with the roadway opened to normal traffic," said Chief Zittergruen.

"The Iowa Department of Natural Resources was contacted to assess any water or environmental issues with the pond," added Zittergruen.

The local fire department was assisted at the scene by the Iowa State Patrol, Clayton County Sheriff's Department, Guttenberg Police Department, Clayton County Emergency Management, Guttenberg ambulance, Linn County Hazmat and Tegeler Wrecking and Towing.

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