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An odd discovery: Westlock constable finds three barrels of used oil in ditch

Const. Dalton Rouse believes barrels fell off back of vehicle transport

WESTLOCK — Anyone recently lose three barrels of used oil in Westlock County? If so, you may want to inquire with the RCMP about your missing property. 

While returning home on the night of Nov. 23, Const. Dalton Rouse of Alberta RCMP Traffic — Westlock discovered three barrels of used oil in the ditch at Highway 44 and Township Road 632, just outside of the community of Jarvie, at around 11:50 p.m.

Noting that he comes across a lot of animals in his travels, Rouse said he initially thought the three round shapes were belted galloways, a breed of Scottish cattle notable for the white belt of fur around their mid-sections. 

Upon closer inspection, he discovered the three shapes were actually badly damaged metal barrels, which were labelled as containing jet fuel. 

“I’ve never seen jet fuel fall off a truck before,” said Rouse. 

However, upon contacting the two companies who were identified on the barrels’ labels, Rouse determined the three containers actually contained used oil. 

Notably, the two companies hadn’t been shipping any used oil through the county at roughly the same time Rouse discovered the barrels, so they belonged to someone else. 

“I don’t suspect it was a dumping situation. I suspect it was an unsecured load (that fell off a vehicle),” Rouse said, adding that it would be unusual for someone illegally dumping to stagger the barrels. 

The damage to the barrels also suggested that they fell off whatever vehicle was carrying them at a high rate of speed. 

Rouse said a towing company removed the barrels and they were ultimately disposed of. Luckily, there was no environmental impact as the barrels remained sealed. 

Still, this is a good reminder to truckers hauling heavy loads to ensure that their cargo is properly secured, Rouse said. 

“Those barrels could have caused a lot of harm to someone,” he added. 

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