PHOTOS: Firies pull huge truck out of creek
THE dramatic recovery of a semi-trailer which crashed into a creek at Teven last Friday was undertaken in sweltering conditions on Saturday.
NSW Fire & Rescue duty commander acting inspector Nick Andronicos said firefighters and the private salvage operators worked very well together despite the tough conditions.
"We had 10 crew on scene, two from Goonellebah Hazmat and a retained tanker crew from Ballina and the crews did an excellent job," he said.
"Crew rotation was important as it was 29 degrees in the morning and 32 in the afternoon."
The job took more than five hours.
Acting Inspector Andronicos said it was a "slow and methodical operation," which involved a great deal of pre-planning with strategies in place to manage worst-case scenarios.
"The salvage operators did a really good job, they were really professional and careful as the crane operator had to turn the prime mover which was attached to the trailer the right way up so the fuel tanks would not be damaged as it was pulled out of the creek," he said.
"Given the slope of the embankment and all the rocks and boulders, the crane had to keep the prime mover slightly off the ground as the heavy haulers brought the vehicle back up."
Inspector Andronicos said NSW Fire & Rescue was the agency in control of incidents with a hazardous material danger.
"Usually if its a truck rollover we are on scene with a hazardous response such as petrol or diesel spill and we have the authority to clean it up," he said.
"So we deployed booms in the creek on Friday to contain the light spill and we put in extra booms on Saturday just in case there was big leak or a fuel tank burst but it was all good."
As the prime mover's cargo was blue metal and there was only a slight spill, Inspector Andronicos said the Hazmat crew easily managed to absorb the hydraulic fluid on the bank and in the creek.
"We contained this fluid and used the booms in the defined water space to contain it around he truck," he said.
"The truck was lying on its side and so as the salvage crew shackled the truck at each move we could work in unison."