Pipeline Leaks 8000 Gallon Jet Fuel Into Indiana River
Texas-based Buckeye Pipe Line said 8,000 gallons of jet fuel spilled into an Indiana river due to a leakage from their pipeline. In this representational image, pipes transport refined product to storage tanks at the Buckeye Partners' Laurel Pipeline terminal Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 1, 2017. Reuters/Jason Cohn

A Texas company said Sunday that more than 8,000 gallons of jet fuel was leaked into a river in the northeastern Indiana city of Decatur from its pipeline.

"Buckeye and its employees are an integral part of the local communities in which we operate," a statement from the company, Buckeye Pipe Line, said. "Our primary concerns are protecting the safety of the public and the environment."

Officials began cleaning up the jet fuel (turbine fuel) that leaked into the St. Marys River on Friday evening. The Houston-based company said the company shut down the line Friday, immediately after it detected a pressure problem. But by then the fuel spilled into the river in Decatur, roughly 100 miles east of Indianapolis, where a community of about 9,500 live.

Local authorities said the fuel was being vacuumed off the surface of the water with hoses while booms were placed in the river to contain the fuel and stop it from spreading further.

Decatur Mayor Kenneth L. Meyer said the cleanup might take weeks, reported Time. He also said crews were working overnight to clean-up the spill, adding that there was an odor in the air due to the fuel "but it's not toxic.”

Soon after the spill was brought to notice, police asked people living nearby the incident area to not smoke or use open flames nearby the river.

The air in the neighborhoods and businesses nearby the river was being monitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to reports. The water quality was also being monitored at several locations, the EPA said.

"One of their workers discovered a pressure drop, went immediately to check on it and immediately shut it down," Bernie Beier, Allen County Homeland Security director, said Saturday. He was monitoring clean-up activities. Crews from the Buckeye's Emergency Response Team responded to the situation and are continuing to clean up the spill. Buckeye hired several contractors for the clean-up at the Allen County-Adams County line, The Journal Gazette reported.

"So the goal is to get as much of the product or the fuel off the top of the river before the rains get heavier, the waters rise and the currents get faster, " Beier said. "When the water becomes more turbulent, anything off the top tends to get sucked down with logs, sticks, and debris. … And they're really making great progress, they're getting a lot of fuel off the water.”

Several roads, including Monmouth Road near the city's wastewater treatment plant, was closed due to the incident, officials said. There were no instances of fire or injuries due to the incident, The Journal Gazette reported. The pipeline will undergo repair, Buckeye Pipe Line said. It will remain shut down until it is considered safe to reopen, it added.

Quoting the West African proverb "Filthy water cannot be washed," Abigail Frost-King, president of the Save Maumee Grassroots Organization, said. "I don't want there to come a time when things are too polluted that it may be too late."