Damaged pipeline spills mineral oil into Rock Creek Park

A damaged Pepco pipeline has spilled thousands of gallons of mineral oil into Rock Creek Park.

The mineral oil has seeped into the soil, some water and some underground power equipment in the area of Klingle Road NW, officials said. Pepco workers are using equipment to suck it out from deep underground.

The substance, which is used to insulate underground power cables, started spewing on Friday. Pepco says a contractor for another utility company was doing some digging and caused the leak.

Sean Kelly, a spokesman for Pepco, says the leak was stopped on Sunday. Pepco stresses that the leak is non-toxic and was never a threat to anyone or to the environment. Even so, Pepco says pedestrians and pets should steer clear of the area.

"We're just trying to contain this. We didn't want any problems coming from people walking through it," Kelly said in a statement. "We know that people have overall concerns."

Pepco says about 4,000 gallons of the mineral oil has leaked, prompting what they're calling a remediation process of digging up soil and repaving roads. Repairs are likely to take several weeks.