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Crews removing spilled fuel from Mystic River

Crews on Saturday worked to clean up several thousand gallons of off-road diesel fuel that spilled into the Mystic River when a tanker overturned on Friday in Arlington.

It is too early to know when the cleanup will be completed, but significant progress was made and the effort will continue Sunday, according to Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Joe Ferson.

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The hot weather has made skimming the oil off of the river significantly easier, as the fuel is now sitting on the surface of the water, Ferson said. “We want to take advantage of the good weather,” he said.

More than half of the 10,000 gallons of fuel carried by the tanker spilled when the tanker overturned on the Mystic Valley Parkway near the intersection of Medford Street about 4:30 p.m. Friday.

The parkway was closed from Friday evening until about 9 a.m. Saturday, according to a statement released by the State Police. A section of River Street remained closed, however, to accommodate a crane assisting the cleanup.

Trooper Reid Bagley said the driver of the truck, an unidentified 65-year-old Framingham man who was thrown from the cab during the crash, remains in serious condition at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, and no charges have been filed, Bagley said. The tanker is owned by JP Noonan Transportation Inc. of West Bridgewater, according to police.

An investigation of the impact on the local wildlife has not been completed, but Ferson said that crews have found several “lightly oiled” ducks in the area, and the assessment will continue.

Loren Savini can be reached at loren.savini@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @Loren_Savini. Chris Stuck-Girard can be reached at chrisstuckgirard@gmail.com.
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