KANSAS CITY, Mo -- The smell on the Plaza Thursday afternoon was enough to make even the most devoted fried food fan give it up.
A truck owned by Brooks Grease Service was hauling used cooking oil and overturned on the bridge at Roanoke Parkway and Ward Parkway, spilling its load on to the streets and into Brush Creek.
Typically restaurants store used cooking oil in a holding tank and sell it to be recycled and reused. Sara Schwalm, whose family owns a restaurant, knows the process and the smell well.
"When it is sitting in that tank it actually becomes pretty rancid, and it is pretty gross," said Schwalm. "You are also getting the smell of the cooked fries and chicken and onion rings and anything else that you are cooking."
Deputy Fire Chief James Garrett says besides the smell, there is no danger to the public.
"Really no danger at all except for getting the grease on your car and spreading it around everywhere," he explained.
The Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department, including the Hazardous Materials Unit, used soak pads and sand to soak up the oil from the roadways, but getting the oil from the water in Brush Creek was more difficult.
Some of the oil from the overturned truck made its way downstream before firefighters were able to place buoys in the water to catch it. Grease trucks skimmed the oil off of the surface of the water.
The driver of the truck was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.