A highway in the Pacific US state of Oregon was left looking like a scene out of a science-fiction film after a road accident left a truck transporting eels overturned last Thursday, spilling 7,500lbs of slippery content in a scene reminiscent of a science fiction movie.
Driver Salvatore J. Tragale was driving a truck carrying 13 containers of hagfish, popularly called ‘slime eels’, which he couldn’t stop when he approached traffic, which had backed up due to construction on Highway 101.
The containers spilled onto the asphalt road near Otter Rock on the Oregon Coast, sparking a chain reaction that led to a five-car pileup, luckily without anyone getting injured.
A highway in the US state of Oregon on Thursday, the 13th of July, after a pileup involving a truck transporting eels
Driver Salvatore J. Tragale was unable to stop a truck filled with 13 containers of hagfish, also called ‘slime eels’
The containers spilled onto the stretch near Otter Rock on the Pacific Coast, resulting in a five-car pileup
Bizarre yet frightening photographs show a car completely covered in slime, with goo dripping down the trunk. Due to the accident, the highway had to be partially shut down and cleaned up.
The 13 containers filled with 7,500-pounds of eels were destined for Korea, where they are considered a delicacy. Hagfish often produce slime when they are agitated since it improves their chances of escaping predators.
Witness Erin Butler spoke to television channel KMOV about the confusion in the immediate aftermath of the accident: “They were writhing and slimy, and it was unbelievable, just unbelievable. It was disgusting.”
The Oregon State Police took a more tongue-in-cheek approach: “Cleanup on aisle 101,” they wrote on Twitter, adding: “In this heat… what is this going to start smelling like in the next few days?”
Drivers were advised to avoid the area and one lane of Highway 101 was shut down, while deputies from the Lincoln County Sherriff’s Office were on hand with the state’s Department of Transportation.