Around 100 litres of diesel spilled onto a major road after a trailer carrying four times that load was spiked by a piece of debris which apparently flicked up as the articulated tractor carrying it, drove by.
The trailer ruptured on Kenrick Way, West Bromwich, around 2pm. Firefighters had to work quickly to stop the diesel spreading further across the road, which they did, and they also stopped it slipping down drains and into the water course.
They were helped in their efforts by the quick-thinking of workers from Scania dealership Keltruck, near junction one of the M5 motorway, on Kenrick Way, which is next to the scene.
Staff at the truck firm immediately helped firefighters by volunteering a diesel siphon. It meant firefighters could stop the remaining diesel left in the trailer's 400 litre tank leaking out, as it was instead poured into tanks the company also provided.
West Bromwich watch commander Jason Jew said it was believed the puncture to the diesel trailer had been caused by a 'piece of metal debris that flicked up off the road' as the tractor unit drove past.
Fire crews were first called to the scene at 1.59pm and only left by 3.48pm. The road was blocked near the scene of the spillage, from the roundabout by Dartmouth Road, Smethwick, up to junction one of the M5, and was expected to remain that way for several hours.