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Fuel tank ruptures on train at Devens, spilling 2,400 gallons

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DEVENS — A Pan Am Railways locomotive apparently struck something along train tracks behind Independence Drive in Devens on Sunday, puncturing a fuel tank and causing about 2,400 gallons of diesel fuel to spill, according to a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Ayer firefighters were called to the area behind 51 Independence Drive in Devens about 6:30 p.m.

Ed Coletta, director of public affairs for DEP, said a locomotive was traveling on tracks behind a large warehouse when it apparently struck something along the tracks that punctured its fuel tank.

The puncture caused an estimated 2,400 gallons of diesel fuel to spill along a roughly 300-foot section of tracks, according to Coletta.

Coletta said DEP sent an emergency response team to the scene, but that it was mostly the tracks and soil around them that was affected. Coletta said there was no threatened surface water or wetlands in the area of the spill.

Coletta said Pan Am hired a contractor to clean the spill as firefighters and DEP remained at the scene.

“It seems to be under control,” Coletta said.

Ayer firefighters were still at the scene Sunday night and could not immediately comment. A spokeswoman for Pan Am Railways did not immediately reply to a message left on her cellphone.

Follow Robert Mills on Twitter and Tout @Robert_Mills.

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