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Interstate 405 Motorists Slipped on Miles Long Oil Slick Between Kirkland and Renton

The oil slick resulted in the closure of two lane of southbound I-405 for about 30 minutes Tuesday; the clean up effort lasted a couple of hours.

Oil, water and automobiles don’t mix.

Renton Fire and Emergency Services responded to two accidents on southbound Interstate 405 Tuesday afternoon shortly after 2:30 p.m. Both accidents were attributed to an oil slick that extended from Kirkland to the State Route 167 off ramp in Renton.

A semi truck with a leak in its gas tank is the most likely culprit, said Renton Station 12 Battalion Chief Roy Gunsolas. If that’s the case, the driver likely had no knowledge of the leak until the truck ran out of fuel, he said.

Early afternoon rain showers may have also contributed to the extra slick road conditions.

The Department contacted the Washington State Department of Transportation for the clean up effort, which involved the use of sand to create a surface with more traction for passing cars and to soak up the diesel fuel.

The oil slick resulted in a three-car accident on southbound I-405 near Exit 4 and a separate two-car accident on the State Route 167 off ramp. All accident victims were treated and released at the scene.

The spin-outs resulted in the closure of two lane of southbound I-405 for about 30 minutes, and the clean up effort lasted a couple of hours, Gunsolas said.

The Washington State Patrol also responded to the incidents.

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