Storage Tank Leaks 2,000 Gallons of Gas

NEW MARTINSVILLE – Eleven buildings – including West Virginia Northern Community College’s New Martinsville campus – were evacuated Tuesday after nearly 2,000 gallons of gasoline leaked from a Tri-State Petroleum storage tank near the south end of New Martinsville.

According to New Martinsville Fire Chief Larry Couch, firefighters responded to the leak at 12:12 p.m. He could not say exactly what caused the tank, which is located near the intersection of South Main Street and River Lane, to rupture.

Couch estimated 1,500-2,000 gallons of fuel escaped from the 16,000-gallon tank before crews were able to contain the leak. Nobody was injured, and no fires resulted, but Couch said six homes and five commercial buildings were evacuated.

The fire department had turned the scene over to officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and a private contractor as of 5:30 p.m., Couch said.

According to its website, Tri-State Petroleum supplies gasoline to more than 300 commercial customers in the tri-state area, and also provides home heating fuel to residential customers.