Truck's 100-metre oil spill snarls up traffic

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 July, 2007, 12:00am

A truck leaked lubrication oil on the Island Eastern Corridor in Causeway Bay yesterday, causing traffic jams that stretched as far as Western and Aberdeen for 31/2 hours.

The truck's tank started to leak on the slow lane of the east-bound carriageway outside Victoria Park shortly before 10am. Police said the driver, 40, immediately pulled over.

'A 100-metre-long oil slick was left on the slow lane. The oil also spread to the middle lane as vehicles switched lanes,' Superintendent Albert Chan Fung-hau from the Hong Kong Island traffic division said.

A section of the carriageway was down to one lane.

Eastbound traffic from Western to Causeway Bay came to a standstill, police said. Vehicles were bumper-to-bumper along Victoria Park Road, Gloucester Road, Harcourt Road, Connaught Road Central and Connaught Road West.

The Transport Department said that queues stretched for about 5km to the Western Park Indoor Games Hall in Connaught Road West.

Chief transport officer Lee Man-ho said the Happy Valley-bound lanes of Aberdeen Tunnel were closed intermittently as queues also extended to Wong Chuk Hang Road in Aberdeen.

At about 12.20pm, the east-bound carriageway of the Island Eastern Corridor heading towards North Point was closed for about 15 minutes as Highway Department workers cleaned it with water and sawdust.

The carriageway was reopened shortly before 1.30pm.

Police said it took more than three hours to reopen the road because the spillage area was large.

The truck's tank holding the oil emptied. It was towed to a government vehicle plant in Quarry Bay for examination.

Officers from Hong Kong Island traffic unit are investigating.