Gas Spill: Clean Up Continues

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WELLINGTON, Ohio--Work crews continue to clean up a gasoline spill in the Village of Wellington in Lorain County.

Authorities said an underground pipeline owned by Sunoco Logistics ruptured on Thursday night, causing nearly 117,000 gallons of gas to saturate the ground near a mobile home park and leak into a nearby waterway known as the White Ditch.

Seventy-five residents were evacuated, and many of them will not be allowed to return to their homes until the U.S. EPA gives the all clear.  A news release from Sunoco Logistics said it could be several days before that happens.  In the meantime, a 24-hour, toll-free hotline has been set up for residents.  Those with questions or concerns should call 855-430-4491.

EPA spokesman Don DeBlasio  told Fox 8, "There's a lot of potential problems with gasoline because of the volatility of it, for example. There's the smell of it that bothers people, and contamination of water."

One of the initial concerns was that fuel in the ditch would eventually get into the Black River, and eventually Lake Erie, but authorities said they were able to contain the spill through the use of a series of barriers.

Sunoco crews and contractors hired by the company are now removing contaminated soil and trying to separate the gasoline from the water in the ditch.

As for Sunoco's legal responsibility for the rupture of its pipeline,  DeBlasio said, "If there's any legal investigation, let the lawyers take care of that later, but right now, our job is to concentrate on the clean-up."

The clean up of the fuel could take at least a week. The EPA said it will continue to monitor the potential impact on the air and the groundwater.

Stick with Fox 8 News and for updates as they become available.

( contributed to this report.)

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