FIRE crews were called to the River Mersey over the weekend after reports of a huge fuel leak.

Residents living near Howley Industrial Estate reported to Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service what they say appeared to be a diesel spillage on Friday evening.

Firefighters attended the scene off Howley Lane that evening and noticed a strong smell of fuel, and they returned in the daylight on Saturday morning.

They were able to stem the flow of the leak and used pads to absorb the substance from the water.

A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Firefighters from Lymm were called to the Howley Lane area of Warrington at around 10.15pm on Friday following reports of a smell of diesel.

“Firefighters from Warrington returned at around 9.05am on Saturday to inspect the scene during daylight hours and found an oily substance in the River Mersey.

“Absorbent pads and an environmental grab pack were used to stem the flow of the substance before handing the scene to the Environment Agency.”

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According to residents, this is not the first time that fuel has been spotted seeping into the river, but they said that this is the worst they have seen.

They went as far as labelling it as a ‘huge environmental risk’ and said they have reported it many times to the Environment Agency, but when an officer visits to inspect the scene, the leak has always stopped and drifted away.

The Warrington Guardian approached the Environment Agency for a comment, but was told that it had no record of any reports of the incident.