WKYT - Harlan - Headlines

HAZMAT crew cleans oil spill on airport runway

By: Rebekah Pewitt Email
By: Rebekah Pewitt Email

HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - Emergency management officials say a HAZMAT team worked overnight Friday to clean up an oil spill on an airport runway in Harlan County.

They say the spill came from cars caught drag racing on the landing strip. Officials called in the clean-up team to make sure a more dangerous situation did not occur as a result of the spill.

The tucker Guthrie Memorial Airport sees air traffic from across the state, but Friday night the runway saw a different kind of traffic.

Officials say three men raced their cars on the landing strip, but sometime during the race one of the cars spilled oil onto the runway.

“They had flights coming in and out of the runway today; so we didn't want the planes to hit the slick spots and then possibly wreck and cause a more dangerous situation,” said David McGill, with the Harlan County Emergency Management.

So a HAZMAT team was called in to clean up what the drag racers had left behind, and Officials say the cleanup took a little more effort than a regular spill.

“There is the planes coming in; at the high speeds they're coming in on, plus them not being able to see, and they could be able to suck the gravel up in their motors, it was a more tedious situation,” said McGill.

Airport board officials did not press charges. They say the men will be forced to pay the clean up fee, which could range from 8 to 10 thousand dollars.

Officials say racers have previously been told to stay off of airport property.


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