A major diesel fuel spill that was reported behind Pilot Travel Center in Williamsburg early Thursday morning was expected to take about seven hours to clean-up.
Williamsburg Fire Chief James Privett estimates that between 150 to 200 gallons or more may have escaped from the tank of a semi, much of which flowed into a nearby ditch.
Taylor Environmental Company out of Corbin used two trucks to pump the fuel out of about 500 feet of ditch line, Privett said. All the cattails growing out of the marshy area will also have to be dug up.
In addition to the fuel in the ditch, Privett said the fuel leak spread into the adjacent parking lot.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet delivered sand to the scene to help clean-up the parking lot.
The leak apparently happened some time overnight and the truck responsible left the scene prior to emergency officials being notified about 6:30 a.m.
"We’re not sure, which trucking company caused it," Privett noted. "They snuck out of here and left."
While a semi was parked in the spot where the leak originated when emergency officials arrived, Privett said that he doesn’t believe it is the vehicle responsible for the leak.
"I don’t think by any means that it is that truck that all the fuel is under. It is not showing any leaks," he added.
Privett said he’s not sure how much clean-up efforts will cost, but that it would likely be in the thousands of dollars range.
Clean-up crews were on the scene until early afternoon Thursday.
Multiple agencies and clean-up crews responded to the scene including: Taylor Environmental Company, Whitley County Emergency Management Director Danny Moses, Pilot environmental response officials, the Cumberland Gap Environmental Response Team out of Frankfort and the Kentucky Environmental Protection Agency