Pig manure spill interrupts traffic near swine flu clinic

Swine poo not swine flu was on the minds of many who showed up for an immunization clinic in Red Deer’s Kentwood neighbourhood Friday.

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Swine poo, not swine flu was on the minds of many who showed up for an immunization clinic in Red Deer’s Kentwood neighbourhood on Friday.

Half an hour before the clinic at Kentwood Alliance Church was to start handing out shots at 9 a.m., a fender bender between a manure truck and a small car at a nearby intersection sent a plume of manure into the air and onto the street.

Diana Panelli was outside the clinic with her two-year-old daughter Jackson and didn’t see the accident, but soon smelled it.

“It was pretty raunchy.

“We were worried because we didn’t know how long we had to wait outside.”

Fortunately, the clinic opened its doors soon after and those in line could escape the foul odour drifting from the 77th Street and Kennedy Drive in the city’s north end.

Later inside, a woman described to her what happened. “She said it looked like it just exploded,” said Panelli.

An eyewitness, who didn’t want to be named, said the malodorous mayhem began when the truck collided with a small car in the intersection.

“The big truck had to hit its brakes and the hatch came open on the top. The first one came open and (the manure) flew all over his truck.

“It smells more like rotten flesh than manure.”

The driver quickly stopped on the other side of the intersection and began directing traffic around the scene of the mess. The small car pulled into the nearby church parking lot.

The back of the truck’s cab and the top of one of the trailers was covered in manure. A worker showed up to shovel the stinking sludge back into the tank. The westbound truck was carrying manure sludge from the Olymel pork plant in Riverside Industrial Park.

A large pile was dumped in the intersection and traffic cones were set up to direct traffic while city public works crews worked to clean up. A vacuum truck was brought in to suck up the worst of the pile. The rest was washed into the nearby storm drains where it was recovered by the vac truck a short distance down the line.

“We’re trying to prevent it going into the sewer system,” said Chris Chalmers, who works at the city’s wastewater treatment plant and was on scene.

RCMP Const. Derek Rose said both vehicles were on a yellow light when the accident happened. The small car was turning left on to Kennedy Drive from 77th Street when it was clipped by the truck. The car was driven by a woman who had an infant in the back seat.

“The driver of the semi tried to stop to avoid the collision and caused his load to spill.”

Charges are expected to be laid against the driver of the car.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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