A fuel spill in downtown Cumberland just before midnight Thursday made its way into a storm drain, drawing the attention of local and federal officials.
The Cumberland City Police Department was notified that a 55-gallon barrel of diesel fuel fell from a truck and spilled in front of eyewitnesses. At presstime, police were looking for the person who let the barrel fall from the truck.
A man allegedly picked the barrel up and put it back into his truck, swept the fuel into the drain and left the area.
According to Harlan County Haz-Mat coordinator Scott Moore, it usually takes 75 gallons of diesel fuel to be considered a hazardous spill.
But he said that because the 55 gallons of fuel were spilled into the sewer system, it is considered a serious situation. A cleanup crew may have to be brought in to handle the matter.
Moore said it could cause an explosion due to the mixture of sewer gases and diesel being in a confined space.
The storm drain in which the fuel was spilled runs into the city's sewer treatment plant.
Moore said the Environmental Protection Agency has been notified. Mayor Carl Hatfield and the Cumberland sewer treatment manager were on the scene conducting various tests to see how much of the diesel fuel had made it to the sewer treatment plant.