Truck carrying 40K litres of oil crashes, burns near Dawson Creek

Emergency officials are scrambling to clean up an oil spill in northern B.C. after a tanker truck crashed and burst into flames on Highway 49.

The province says the truck was involved in an accident while crossing Pouce Coupe bridge, five kilometres east of Dawson Creek, just before 2 p.m. Saturday.

It was hauling 40,000 litres of crude oil. Officials say most of the truck was consumed by fire after the accident.

The Dawson Creek Fire Department, the RCMP and an environmental emergency response officer all rushed to the scene. 

The province said the driver of the truck was taken to hospital for treatment, but officials didn't specify his or her injuries.

The bridge is closed in both directions until an engineer can confirm it's safe to reopen.

Alan Stebbing/B.C. Spill Response

Officials say oil was spilled on the bridge and into the Pouce Coupe river. They have not said how much of the oil spilled onto the roadway and into the surrounding area, but that much of it burned in the fire.

Efforts are being made to contain what oil did spill downstream with an absorbent boom.

Drive B.C. says there is a detour along 207 Road and Briar Ridge to Highway 2.