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updated: 3/14/2014 4:47 PM

Pipeline leak near Kankakee under investigation

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Associated Press

Emergency crews are investigating a pipeline leak near Kankakee.

Limestone Township Fire Chief Mike Whalen says hazardous materials teams responded around midnight Friday to calls of a strong odor and discovered petroleum leaking into a ditch that leads to the Kankakee River.

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Hazmat crews placed booms in the ditch to try to stop oil from reaching the river, and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Kim Biggs says there is no indication that it has.

The pipeline is owned by Houston-based Buckeye Partners. The company's health and safety director, Patrick Hodgins, estimates about 500 gallons spilled before the pipeline was shut down.

He says crews are excavating around two 8-inch lines to determine the cause of the leak, though he says it appears to be the result of "third-party damage."

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