DEPOE BAY, Ore. – A truck full of slime eels overturned on Highway 101 Thursday afternoon, covering cars and the roadway with the slippery, slimy creatures.
The crash shut down the highway at milepost 131, south of Depoe Bay, at around noon. The highway was reopened at 4 p.m.
The semi-truck was heading northbound when a flagger stopped traffic for construction work, but the driver was not able to stop the truck and it overturned, according to Oregon State Police.
Photos: Truck full of eels overturns
Photos: Truck full of eels overturns in Oregon
The truck was carrying 7,500 pounds of slime eels and the transfer of weight caused one of the containers to come off the truck bed and fly across the highway, police said. The other containers then separated from the bed and spilled onto the highway. The flat bed completely separated from the frame of the truck.
The container that flew across the highway caused a chain reaction crash, pushing four southbound vehicles into each other. One person suffered minor injuries.
"It was a mess, approximately 150-200 yards of roadway blocked with fish and cars," said Senior Trooper Brian Tucker with Oregon State Police.
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Police said when slime eels, also known as hagfish, become stressed, they secrete a slime which covered the road and cars involved.
"It was just a mess of fish coming down the highway, there were a lot of people...it was quite a chaotic event when we first arrived," said Lt. Eric Leonard with Depoe Bay Fire.
The live eels were going to be shipped to Korea for consumption.