Sunday 19 November 2017

Woman recovering after car swept off road by avalanche of slurry

Tractor spreading slurry
Tractor spreading slurry

By David Raleigh

A WOMAN is recovering from shock after her car was swept off a road by an avalanche of slurry, which hit the car after it spilled from a slurry tank located on a hill.

The Doon to Cappamore Road in East Limerick remains closed this afternoon (Tue) after the slurry tank ruptured last night spilling 50,000 gallons of slurry onto the road.

The surge was so strong that a car carrying a woman was washed off the road around 9.45pm.

Her Ford Fiesta was pushed into a nearby field.

Emergency services were called to the scene including gardai, ambulance, and two units of the fire service from Cappamore.

The woman was rescued by a local man who came on the scene after hearing the woman screaming.

The woman from Cappamore, did not sustain any injuries.

A hearse and another car just managed to escape the spillage which fell from a slurry pit located on a hilltop farm.

A number of houses nearby have also been damaged by the spillage and will have to be cleaned.

A major cleanup is continuing this morning.

A source at the scene said: "It must have been like an avalanche. The slurry smashed through the slurry tank wall and it ran down a hill about 50 yards from the road. There was a woman driving a car and she was swept across the road with the force if it. There was a hearse and another car in front if her and they got through it."

Members of the Limerick City and County Council Environment Department have attended the scene to assess the cost of the clean up and the damage to the local environment.

A Council spokesperson said engineers have inspected the slurry tank.

"Engineers from the council have discussed the matter with the farmer. They have expressed concern about the condition of the tank. It is believed the tank is fifty to sixty years old," the spokesperson said.

"The engineers believe it was in poor condition."

The cost of the cleanup is expected to run into thousands of euro.

"The road embankment was removed by the slurry flow. The Council are currently building it back up. There is some structural damage to the road boundary, it is being rebuilt by staff from the (Council's) Roads Department," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added: "The Council is confident it will be able to contain the slurry spill and minimise any environmental impact".

"The slurry spilled into a flat area with no great flow of water (nearby) so the council does not foresee any impact on local water supplies."

Council staff have created dams on local drains to pool the slurry as part of the cleanup process.

The spokesperson added: "The cleanup may take a few days but the road is expected to reopen later today."

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