The possible pollution of a small lake in East Clare was averted today after a milk truck overturned into a ditch.
The incident, which involved no other vehicle, was one of several road traffic collisions that happened in the county following overnight snow and hail showers.
The driver escaped injury but was left shaken after his truck slid sideways off the R352 Ennis to Scariff road at around 8.50am. The incident occurred near Bodyke and just metres from a small fish-stocked lake prompting concerns that leaking milk could pose a pollution risk.
Two units of the fire brigade from nearby Scarriff responded to the incident and on arrival found the truck on its side in a ditch and a stream. Some of truck’s 1,000 gallons of milk had leaked from one of its tanks.
Staff from the environment section of Clare County Council as well as officers from Inland Fisheries Ireland were alerted and requested to attend the scene and assess any possible pollution threat.
A digger was brought in to create two embankments to prevent the milk reaching nearby Meelagh Lough.
Road conditions in the area were reported to be treacherous at the time. According to locals the road is sheltered and can be very dangerous after hail and snow showers and freezing conditions.
The transport company arranged for a second tanker to remove the milk from the crashed truck while a crane was brought in to remove the vehicle from the ditch. The main R352 road was closed for a time while this operation was undertaken.
A spokesman for Clare County Council confirmed: “Scarriff Fire Brigade attended the scene and assisted in containing the milk spillage. The Environment section of Clare County Council also attended and can confirm that the spillage has been contained in a ditch with embankments placed on either side to prevent any leakage into a nearby water source.”
“A private firm was contracted in to remove the milk. Meanwhile, approximately 1000 gallons of milk in the overturned truck was transferred into a second tanker,” the local authority added.
Fire crews were still at the scene nine hours after the incident.
Meanwhile, several other incidents were reported on the same route and on the M18 motorway.
Late on Sunday night, an elderly woman had a lucky escape after her car left the R352 Ennis to Scariff road at Ballinahinch near Feakle.
Two units of the fire brigade from Scarriff responded to the call along with an ambulance and gardaí. On arrival at the scene fire crews found an elderly woman trapped in a car which was in its side in a field and a junction with the main road.
The woman was removed from the vehicle by fire crews and handed into the care of ambulance paramedics. She was assessed at the scene but opted not to travel to hospital.
This morning at around 9.30 a car lost control and ploughed backwards into a concrete fence also on the R352 near Tulla.
A number of collisions occurred on the M18 motorway where cars lost control and either left the road or came to a stop in the traffic lanes.
Units of the fire brigade from Ennis and Shannon along with gardaí and an ambulance responded to one incident near junction 13. The driver was uninjured.