Hydraulic fluid spill contaminates several cars, shuts down streets in Cambridge

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - Eleven cars in Harvard Square were contaminated Wednesday after a street sweeper leaked hydraulic fluid, officials said.

The street sweeper blew a hydraulic line and leaked between 50 and 70 gallons of fluid in the area of Mt. Auburn and Dunster streets, according to the Cambridge Fire Department.

Tom Digiulio was driving in Cambridge when his vehicle got soaked by the fluid. He stopped the sweeper and talked to the truck driver.

“I looked at my car. I went to go get out and I fell. I saw other people falling down there, so I hopped in the car and then chased him,” he said. “I cut in front of him, and I hopped out of the car and he was like, ‘What are you talking about, it’s only water.’ I go, ‘No it’s not, man.’ I go, ‘Look at my car.’ He goes, ‘Oh, I’ve got to call my boss. Yeah, there’s a problem.’ And then he left.”

Crews spread an absorbent material down on the streets in an effort to clean up the spill.

The cars cannot be moved until they are thoroughly cleaned, according to police. The process is expected to take several hours.

Firefighters placed notes on the contaminated vehicles, which read: “This car has been contaminated by hydraulic fluid. Please do not move this vehicle.”

No injuries were reported.