By Samantha Allen

WESTFORD -- Police and fire crews were on scene on Boston Road for more than hour Sunday trying to contain several gallons of gasoline that spilled out when a car broke down.

Westford Fire Capt. David O'Keefe said the spill occurred near 23 Boston Road when a Jeep Grand Cherokee broke down, likely due to the rusting out of its gas tank. O'Keefe said when officials arrived, there was gasoline pouring out onto the sidewalk around 2 p.m. but it was contained to the area. He added crews only came into difficulty when a heavy drizzling of rain came later that afternoon.

Then, around 3 p.m., crews were using large booms to keep the gasoline from slipping further down the hill on Boston Road, when it spread toward the area 45 Boston Rd. and beyond. Officials became concerned for the gasoline leaking into a catch basin on the side of the road, as well as a culvert headed into the wooded area. Highway Superintendent Chip Barrett was also called in for assistance.

The Westford Fire Department opted to not call in the state Department of Environmental Protection, according to O'Keefe, who estimated only a little more than 10 gallons had spilled. Traffic was backed up in both directions for more than hour, and police worked to let one lane through at a time.

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