“Usually I would get about 1,000 pounds of clams a day,” Denehy told the East Boston times. “When I went to the flats this past November there was zero clams that were alive.”
The dead clams that Denehy collected across from Constitution Beach in the area the clammers call the Wood Island Flats were sent off to be tested by the state’s Marine Fisheries Department and results came back that the clams died of neoplasia or clam cancer that killed off the majority of the clams. This cancer, in most cases, is caused by hydrocarbons found in jet fuel.
Sources at the airport have said that the spill was caused when a Swissport employee refueling an aircraft overrode the safety mechanism called the ‘dead man’ on the refueling hose, went back into the fueling truck and fell asleep. By the time he awoke hundreds, if not thousands, of gallons of jet fuel had been spilled and later discharged into the harbor.
This practice, known in the industry as ‘Jamming the Dead Man’ is all too common practice at Logan Airport according to former Globe Ground Fuel Supervisor George DiCicco.