Section of highway closed after truck tips over, spills its load of herring

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By Tina Comeau


A section of Highway 103 in Yarmouth, N.S. had to be closed to traffic for several hours on Saturday after an 18-wheeler overturned and lost its load of herring on the side of the highway.

The RCMP said the truck had just made a wide turn onto the highway and that it appeared the load may have shifted, causing the truck to tip over sideways. The driver was not injured. The incident happened late morning and the section of highway remained closed for most of the afternoon.

Along with the RCMP and the fire department, several government departments, including environment and transportation and public works, responded to the incident. Aside from thousands of herring that spilled on and off the roadway, there was concern about diesel fuel that had spilled from the truck. “Most of the fuel that was lost was contained to the asphalt part of the highway. As a precautionary measure the Department of Transportation is going to remove a portion of the shoulder on the road…just to prevent any further contamination,” Anthony Shand, an inspector specialist for the Department of Environment, said at the scene around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 9. “It appears right now there were no water courses nearby that were impacted, and no real substantial impact to the environment,” he added, saying there would be further inspection to ensure that was the case.

The truck was owned by Comeau’s Seafood and the load of herring was destined for Cape Sable where it was going to be sold for bait in the lobster fishery. Instead, the entire load, after it was cleaned up, would have to be disposed of because it was considered contaminated.

Organizations: RCMP, Department of Transportation, Department of Environment

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Cape Sable

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