News Release 286

Department emergency responders oversee fuel, fertilizer cleanup following crop duster crash in New Madrid County

Volume 39-286 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 23, 2011 – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is overseeing the cleanup of fuel and fertilizer following the Monday afternoon crash of a crop duster in New Madrid County.

The department was notified early Monday evening by the Sikeston Fire Department that a crop duster had crashed upon take-off at a small airport located three miles south of Matthews in New Madrid County.

As a result of the accident, the plane came to rest in a waterway and began leaking both fuel and fertilizer. First responders to the scene used absorbent booms on the water to prevent the fuel from flowing beyond the accident site.

The department dispatched an emergency responder from its regional office in Poplar Bluff to oversee the cleanup of the waterway and to determine the extent of the environmental damage. Upon inspecting the site, the responder was able to determine that the release had resulted in a small fish kill and notified the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the accident. The pilot of the plane reportedly was not injured. The plane is owned by Ag Air of Matthews.

The Environmental Emergency Response section is called to the scene of more than 300 emergencies each year, including fires, traffic accidents, leaking storage tanks and other incidents that could have a negative environmental impact. The department’s 24-hour spill line receives more than 1,600 incident reports annually.

To report an environmental emergency, including fuel spills, please contact the spill line at 573-634-2436. For more information contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-3443, or visit the department's website at