Overturned truck covers Oregon highway in slime eels

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  July 14, 2017 at 8:40 AM
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July 14 (UPI) -- The Oregon Department of Transportation called in a bulldozer when a truck carrying a slime eels overturned on a highway and lost its load.

The Oregon State Police said the truck hauling 7,500 pounds of slime eels -- creatures also known as hagfish or snot snakes -- failed to stop Thursday on northbound Highway 101, near Depoe Bay, when advised by an Oregon DOT worker.

Investigators said the transfer of the weight caused the truck to overturn, sending one container of slime eels flying across the highway to the southbound lanes, and the rest spilling into the northbound lanes.

The container of eels that ended up in the southbound lanes caused a chain-reaction crash that caused some minor injuries in the occupants of a single car, officials said.

"Cleanup on aisle 101," the Oregon State Police tweeted.

"In this heat... what is this going to start smelling like in the next few days?" a follow-up tweet asked.

A bulldozer was summoned to help clean up the mess as slime and slithering eels, which had been intended for shipment to South Korea as a delicacy, covered the highway.

"The slime is a protein based mucous produced by glands along each side of the eel's body that forms the slime when mixed with water," the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife tweeted.

Cleanup was completed and the highway was reopened just prior to 4 p.m. Thursday.

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