Burnaby residents return to gauge oil spill damage

Burnaby residents, out of their homes since last Tuesday’s oil spill, were back at their once lush gardens yesterday to survey the clean-up.


Residents in the area have been out of their homes in what is being called a voluntary evacuation since a contractor working for the City of Burnaby hit the pipeline, sending 234,000 litres of oil — the equivalent of 10 large tanker trucks — gushing up to 30 metres in the air.


Nearly 50 homes were damaged, 11 seriously. No people were hurt.


Joe Auspitz, 97, told CTV news his yard was destroyed.


“It’s all poisoned,” he said. “And it’s all gone.”

Philippe Reicher, spokesman for Kinder Morgan Canada, the owner of the pipeline, said crews were working with the residents to restore their properties.

“We’ve established a claims line and we’re encouraging homeowners to get in touch with their insurance companies to get the recovery process started,” he said yesterday.

Reicher added that the spill was now more than 80-per-cent recovered.

“Most of the mobile oil has been picked up and that’s the biggest risk,” said Craig Dougans of Burrard Clean, the water clean-up company hired by Kinder Morgan. “There may be a couple of tarballs floating around out there but they’ll get cleaned up as they’re spotted.”