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UPDATE: Emergency crews deal with a sodium hydroxide leak in Kensington, P.E.I.

Members of the Kensington Fire Department address a sodium hydroxide leak from a refrigerated trailer parked at the Kensington Food Basket on Tuesday morning.
Members of the Kensington Fire Department address a sodium hydroxide leak from a refrigerated trailer parked at the Kensington Food Basket on Tuesday morning. - Jason Simmonds
KENSINGTON, P.E.I. —

A potentially dangerous situation was avoided in the Town of Kensington as emergency crews were on the scene of a sodium hydroxide leak on Tuesday morning.

Kensington police chief Lewie Sutherland told The Guardian the driver of a tractor-trailer detected the leak coming from the refrigerated trailer and immediately called 911. The truck was parked for delivery at the Kensington Food Basket.

“It’s dangerous stuff,” said Sutherland. “We are lucky and the fire department did a super job.”

Kensington Police Chief Lewie Sutherland directs traffic on Broadway Street North on Tuesday morning. A section of the street was closed off due to a sodium hydroxide leak from a refrigerated tractor trailer that was park on Commercial Street. - Jason Simmonds
Kensington Police Chief Lewie Sutherland directs traffic on Broadway Street North on Tuesday morning. A section of the street was closed off due to a sodium hydroxide leak from a refrigerated tractor trailer that was park on Commercial Street. - Jason Simmonds

Fire chief Rodney Hickey said the leak came from a plastic container.

“It came out the back of the trailer and we caught it with some absorbent,” said Hickey, who added not much of the leak got on the ground. “We went to Cavendish Farms and got another tote and we got a hose from Cavendish Farms and what we did was drained it into another tote. 

“They loaded it all back on the truck and took everything down to the (trucking company's) depot in Charlottetown.”

The situation has resulted in a couple of road closures. The always-busy Broadway Street North was closed from Francis Street to Commercial Street and a section of Commercial Street between Broadway Street North and Woodleigh Drive was also closed. 

The roads reopened around 11 a.m., following a visit from the Department of Environment.

“(The Department of Environment) came up and looked at the site where the spill was and gave it their blessing,” said Sutherland.

This is an overview shot of the closed streets in Kensington on Tuesday morning as the Kensington Fire Department deals with a sodium hydroxide leak from a refrigerated trailer. - Jason Simmonds
This is an overview shot of the closed streets in Kensington on Tuesday morning as the Kensington Fire Department deals with a sodium hydroxide leak from a refrigerated trailer. - Jason Simmonds

Hickey said the situation could have certainly been worse and emergency personnel took a lot of cautionary measures.

“Lewie shut down the streets to make sure everybody was safe and didn’t leave anything to chance,” said Hickey.

Hickey said the call came in just before 8:30 a.m., and three trucks and 16 members were on-scene for about two hours.

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