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Diesel spills in Lake Pend Oreille

HOPE, Idaho — A 32-foot tugboat dropped from a crane spilled about 80 gallons of diesel fuel into Lake Pend Oreille.

Some of the fuel reached the shore near Kramer’s Marina in Hope, Idaho, where the mishap occurred, about 19 miles east of Sandpoint.

State Department of Environmental Quality, federal Environmental Protection Agency and hazardous materials officials were at the scene Thursday.

Crews were working to surround the spill with containment booms as gusty winds made cleanup more difficult.

Sgt. Ron Raiha of the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office says nobody was hurt in the accident.

Raiha says, “A crane was lifting up the tug boat, the crane was coming off balance and was in danger of tipping over.”

To prevent that, the crane let the tugboat fall on the barge, causing a 5-inch gash in the side of the tugboat’s 400-gallon fuel tank.