110 new cases confirmed in New Brunswick fuel spill

(CNN) — The first wave of cases in a spill of truck fuel in New Brunswick resulted in the declaration of a health alert Wednesday by the province’s Ministry of Health and Wellness. Nine…

110 new cases confirmed in New Brunswick fuel spill

(CNN) — The first wave of cases in a spill of truck fuel in New Brunswick resulted in the declaration of a health alert Wednesday by the province’s Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Nine individuals became ill after they were exposed to hydrocarbons in July, nine days after the Transport Canada emergency response plan was activated. Health officials said a second release was detected Friday, August 10 and made contact with motorists at a truck stop as well as tanker truck drivers and others at a ranch.

As of Wednesday, there were 111 reported new cases, according to the New Brunswick Ministry of Health and Wellness.

The release of the fuel resulted in the spill of 2,500 liters of diesel fuel, officials said. In addition, there were 92 people treated for medical conditions due to exposure to the hydrocarbons, 61 of which had to be taken to a hospital.

All of the 10 people who became ill on July 26 have since been fully recovered, officials said.

“Hydrocarbons can be released very rapidly, and since July 26, we have seen the outbreak of illnesses. The best way to limit the spread of the gas is to not remain near the site,” said Jessica Fleury, senior communications specialist for the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

The Health Department said the patients were selected from the medical evacuees from the New Brunswick Health Authority waiting for admission into a Level 4 disaster shelter, and were categorized as having illness with respiratory symptoms. It added that when the onset of illness occurred it was usually not known if the person had been exposed to hydrocarbons.

“We are focused on stopping the contamination in the area, but we want to avoid unnecessary displacement of people and are taking appropriate steps to ensure the safety of our residents,” said Marc McArdle, New Brunswick’s environment minister, in a press release.

Travel restrictions have been put in place and authorities have restricted people from four roads within a 5-kilometer area.

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