Carnival generator malfunction in Sarcoxie results in oil spillage into Swifty Creek

DNR says all liquids are containerized

A generator used to operate Big D’s Amusement carnival at Chief Sarcoxie Days malfunctioned during the festivities over the weekend.

“What happened was it was overheating, and I guess oil was getting into the radiator and that’s where it started causing problems. They were using a hose to spray the radiator just to help keep the thing cool so it could continue to run and continue to do the rides and stuff” said Sarcoxie’s Mayor Don Triplett.

The issue caused a run off of oil into Swifty creek.

“It’s concerning and what goes in there absolutely has to go back out. Our deal was to contain everything and stop it from going anywhere and to stop any further oil from getting in there, that was our number one priority. Our number two priority was to minimize the impact on all the citizens and residents that came to the Chief Sarcoxie Days festival” added Mayor Triplett.

The carnival company has been used at Chief Sarcoxie Days for the past six years. Mayor Triplett says this kind of thing has never happened before.

“We have no recollection of this ever happening before, you know I’ve been involved with city stuff for about 15 years now and I don’t recall it ever happening.”

The Department of Natural Resources assessed the incident. They provided the following information.

“There was a malfunctioning generator being used to power the equipment at the carnival causing carnival staff to continuously spray down the generator to keep the carnival going. As a direct result of them spraying the generator an oil water mixture was released to the secondary containment (kiddie pool) which then overflowed and impacted a nearby creek. Once DNR was notified of the event the mayor was contacted, and we requested them to contain the release. Absorbent booms and pads were deployed to contain the release and prevent further impacts to the creek. The carnival company was contacted and due to it being after hours they were unable to have their insurance provider provide a cleanup, so DNR hired a contractor to conduct a cleanup. At this time all the liquids have been containerized and crews will begin using a vac-truck to remove the oily substance from the creek. Excavation of the impacted ground/soils will commence once the trailer containing the generator is moved. Risks to the creek were water quality issues and further contamination to waters of the State.”

The City is working with the Sarcoxie Days Committee to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

“It would be sad if Sarcoxie Days didn’t exist because of one little incident, so I think the community has to keep an open mind, have faith in City leadership, in the committee and work together to make it better” said Chief Sarcoxie Days Committee member, Roxanne Willard.

An official with Big D’s Amusement provided the following statement.
“It was an accident, I hate that it happened, I tried my best to keep the oil from getting into the water, and we apologize for it, this hasn’t happened before.”

Cleanup continued today, Monday Sept. 16th.


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