September 21, 2014
The authorities asked people not to use water from the
river after an orange stain appeared in it. Mexican civil
protection authorities in the northern state of Sonora issued on Sunday a
new alert of a toxic spill in the Bacanuchi River from a copper mine
operated by Buenavista del Cobre, a subsidiary company of Grupo Mexico SAB
(GMEXICOB). The alert triggered protection measures for
the surrounding Sonora River population. Some 25,000 residents of the area
have been urged to avoid using the water after local municipalities
complained of a toxic plume where the spill occurred. The population of the
area has gone without a reliable water supply for 45 days. The announcement
came after authorities flew over the area which according to them had an
abnormal orange stain. They estimated that the mine contaminated the river
with 40 thousand cubic meters of sulfuric acid. Meanwhile GMEXICOB said
today in a statement that heavy rains during Hurricane Odile caused new
flooding, sparking pollution concerns in the mine. According to the company,
the bad weather caused two reservoirs at the mine to fill with water,
prompting them to activate pumping teams in order to contain the situation.
A spill at the same mine on August 6 contaminated the water supplies
of at least 24,000 people, according to the government. The company has
denied the accusations and has set up a US$150 million trust to pay
damages. Mexico's environmental authorities accused the company of lying
about the spilling of millions of gallons of acids and heavy metals that
contaminated two rivers and a dam downstream, and they said the company also
lied about the measures it took to control the effects.
September 17, 2014
Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada
Crews are currently working to clear a Canadian
National train derailment just outside of Slave Lake, Alberta.
No injuries have been reported. The Transportation
Safety Board says four engines and three cars came off the tracks on Tuesday
about 10 kilometres east of Slave Lake, near Mitsue. Two
of the derailed cars were carrying sulphuric chloride while one was carrying
sulphuric acid. While none of the cars carrying the hazardous
material are believed to be leaking, Slave Lake fire chief Jamie Coutts says
they are working to contain a small leak from one of the engines.
Environmental - Release
August 27, 2014
Whiting, Indiana, USA
A fire broke out about 9 p.m. Wednesday after an
explosion at the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana, fire officials said.
BP America spokesman Scott Dean confirmed in a news release early
Thursday that the Whiting refinery experienced “an operational incident” on
a process unit on the refinery's north end, the Post-Tribune is reporting.
Its in-house fire department responded, and the fire was extinguished by
10:55 p.m. “Refinery operations were minimally impacted
as a result of the incident, and the refinery continues to produce products
for customers,” Dean said. One refinery employee was
taken to a local hospital as a precaution but was later released, Dean said.
Two neighbors said via social media that they heard or felt the blast
about 9 p.m. The blast was heard as far away as Highland
and Griffith. Bernie Niceswander lives on the corner of
Schrage Avenue and 121st Street, just across the street from BP's new
expansion site. “I felt what sounded like a big boom,
kind of like roman candles exploding,” he said late Wednesday. “My window
screens were shaking. But I didn't see anything, except a lot of chaos, with
police cars and sirens.” Jorge Torres, who also lives
near the refinery, said the explosion felt like an earthquake.
“I was here at home around 9 p.m. when we heard a big explosion and
the house vibrated,” he said. “When we came out, we couldn't see anything,
but then we looked toward the refinery and we saw white smoke.”
Torres drove toward the refinery and saw everybody coming out of
their houses. He said Indianapolis Boulevard was blocked for an hour.
BP officials have notified the state of Indiana that more than 500
pounds of sulfur dioxide were released into the air following the explosion.
Indiana Department of Environmental Management spokesman Dan
Goldblatt says the agency is still preparing a report but the initial
indication is that the release didn't cause any air quality problems.
BP spokesman Scott Dean says there's no indication the explosion had
any environmental impact. Dean says the explosion
Wednesday night was caused by a compressor in one of the units of the
refinery. He says the plant was continuing to operate Thursday. He wouldn't
comment on whether it affected the production at the plant.
Wednesday was the anniversary of a disastrous explosion in Whiting.
On Aug. 27, 1955, a series of explosions ripped apart the Standard
Oil Refinery's 250-foot tall fluid hydroformer unit 700 in Whiting. Only two
were killed but the conflagration is considered one of the worst industrial
disasters in the region's history.
August 26, 2014
A train carrying sulfuric acid
derailed near the north-flowing Santa Cruz River in Sonora on Sunday, but
officials said none of the corrosive spilled. The
Hermosillo daily El Imparcial, citing Sonora state civil protection
officials, reported that the derailment occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m.
Sunday in the Ejido Miguel Aleman, a community in the municipality of Santa
Cruz, approximately 25 miles southeast of Nogales, Sonora.
The officials told El Imparcial that 15 train cars jumped the tracks,
including three tankers that were each carrying 80 tons of sulfuric acid.
The train was reportedly on its way to the United States when it derailed.
The officials said no acid was spilled. Ray Sayre,
emergency services director for Santa Cruz County, said he first learned of
the incident at 9:36 a.m. Monday from Louis Chaboya, co-chair of the
Arizona-Sonora Commission’s emergency management committee. Chaboya
also said there had been no spill, Sayre said. Even so,
Sayre said, he notified the Arizona Division of Emergency Management, as
well as a hydrologist at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
(ADEQ). “We are downstream, as you know, and that’s why I
usually bump it up right away so the state’s aware of the situation,” he
said. “If we had a leak, or there was some other stuff on
the ground, then that’s a game-changer," he said. "But I didn’t have any
indication of that so I didn’t go any father with it.”
Sayre said he would continue to monitor the situation.
Grupo Mexico operates large copper mines in Cananea and Nacozari, Sonora,
that connect to the rail line where the derailment occurred. Highly
corrosive sulfuric acid is used in the mining process to leach copper from
ore. Earlier this month, more than 10 million gallons of
sulfuric acid leaked from Grupo Mexico’s Cananea mine into the nearby,
south-flowing Rio Sonora, leaving about 20,000 people in nearby communities
without water and forcing the closure of more than 80 schools.
August 24, 2014
More than 10 million gallons of sulfuric acid from one
of the world’s largest copper mines spilled into two major rivers—the Sonora
and the Bacanuchi—in northern Mexico earlier this month, cutting the water
supply of 20,000 people and closing 88 schools. Some locals even fear eating
food. “If [a cow is killed], we don’t know if we can eat
it,” housekeeper and farm laborer
Ramona Yesenia told AFP.
“They say if the [cattle] drink just a little water [from
the rivers], they get infected.” Civil defense official
Carlos Arias told The
Associated Press that
the spill in Sonora, Mexico, on Aug. 7 was caused by defects in new ponds
that hold the acids used to filter metal. Residents discovered the reddened
water, usually clear this time of year, the next day. Grupo Mexico, which
operates the Buenavista copper mine, hadn’t told authorities. Mine
operators alerted the attorney general for environmental protection almost a
full day after the leak, which was within the 24-hour filing requirement,
according to Arturo Rodriguez, the agency’s head of industrial inspection.
He said that careless supervision, rains, and construction errors seem to
have resulted in the spill—noting that operators should have discovered the
leak before a huge amount of sulfuric acid flowed into the rivers. Arias
said the overflow has above-normal levels of arsenic and other pollutants.
Local Jesus Sabori told AFP that the water has become “more and more
red every day…. It was only [Aug. 11] that they told us to keep our animals
away.” “We’re angry because they didn’t take the time to
tell us either that the spill had happened or that they were cutting off our
water,” said resident Israel Duran. AFP reported that the
mine’s executives blame “abnormal rains” for causing the acid to spill over
from its tanks. They also claim to have notified the government by email,
insisting that the acid is “not toxic in itself.” Grupo
Mexico’s international relations vice president, Juan Rebolledo, told a
local radio station, “There’s no problem nor any serious consequence for the
population, as long as we take adequate precautions and the company pours
lime into the river, as it is currently doing.” Lime, or
calcium, will deacidify the Sonora and Bacanuchi rivers. “What you can’t get
rid of are the heavy metals,” said Arias. So far no
serious injuries have been reported, but according to Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, short-term exposure to
sulfuric acid may irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Direct contact with
skin and eyes will cause severe burns, and inhaling the vapor may result in
tooth erosion, sore mouth, and trouble with breathing. Arsenic can cause
cancer. The Buenavista mine, which employs 9,000
people, hasn’t announced any plans to cancel or delay an upcoming expansion.
By 2016, its output is expected to increase from 200,000 tons of copper to
510,000 tons. Duran told AFP, “Even if [the mine] creates
jobs, it would be better if they close it if they’re going to behave like
this every time something happens.
August 18, 2014
- Authorities in Mexico said Monday they have closed about 80
schools after sulfuric acid leaked from a copper mine in the country's
northwest and contaminated the Sonora River. "About 5,000 students
from around 80 schools will not have classes this week because of a lack of
water and in some locations their proximity to the river," said the director
of the Sonora state civil protection agency, Jesus Arias. On August 6,
some 40,000 cubic meters (10.6 million gallons) of sulfuric acid used to
dissolve copper from ore for processing leaked out of a holding tank at the
Buenavista copper mine, one of the largest in the world. The chemical
turned a 60-kilometer (40-mile) stretch of the Sonora River orange, causing
authorities to shut off the municipal water supply to 20,000 people in seven
towns. The mine has poured tons of lime into the river to neutralize
the acidity, but experts warn the water supply still poses a health risk
because sulfuric acid releases heavy metals from the surrounding
environment. Potential risks for the local population include cancer,
genetic deformities and developmental problems in children. The
government and the mine, which is owned by Latin American mining giant Grupo
Mexico, say they have distributed four million liters of water to most of
the affected communities. The mine produces 200,000 tonnes of copper a
year, and is seeking to increase annual output to 510,000 tonnes by 2016
with a $3.2 billion investment. Prosecutors have said it could face a
$224,000 fine for the leak. (Yahoo News)
July 31, 2014
A water treatment plant in Blythe
was evacuated Wednesday after a tank containing 200 gallons of sulfuric acid
leaked. The spill happened about 6 a.m. at the Mesa Verde
Water Treatment Plant, according to a news release from the Riverside County
Department of Environmental Health. A Riverside County
Economic Development Agency employee noticed the leak, the release said. The
tank was inside a secondary “containment bin.” However, because the
containment bin was made of metal, the corrosive acid ate through it. The
release did not say why a tank incapable of stopping a leak was used as a
containment bin. Dikes were placed around the low points
of the plant to contain the acid to the property. The acid remaining in the
tank was transferred to another tank by a hazardous-materials contractor.
Contaminated soil was to be removed. (The Press Enterprise)
July 31, 2014
Augusta, GA, USA
Two ChemTrade employees are being treated for burns after
being sprayed with sulfuric acid Thursday. Firefighters were
called to the business on Columbia Nitrogen Road around 10 a.m. in reference
to a spill, according to a fire department news release. First responders
located two employees who had suffered burns. One employee suffered
significant burns and the other less severe injuries. Both
were taken to the James M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital for
treatment. The sulfuric acid, which was contained within a
dike system, had no environmental impact, officials said. (The Augusta
July 25, 2014
Leoni Township, Michigan
Police officers and the Jackson County Hazmat team were dispatched at 8:40
p.m. Thursday, July 24, for a report of a 300-gallon tote leaking sulfuric
acid inside an isolated building, Blackman-Leoni Township Deputy Chief Jon
Johnston said in an email. The spill was contained to the building and
there was no evacuation or health concern, Johnston said. According to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sulfuric acid, or battery
acid, can cause irritation to eyes, skin, nose and throat; pulmonary edema,
bronchitis; emphysema; conjunctivitis; stomatis; dental erosion;
eye and skin burns; dermatitis. Crews were on scene until 1:30 a.m.
Friday, while a contract company cleaned up the spill and loaded the acid
into a new container, Johnston said. The Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality was notified of the incident.
Transportation - Road
July 17, 2014
A transport truck carrying sulfur dioxide, rolled over in a ditch in the
Town of Cochrane Wednesday night.Sulfur dioxide is a chemical which can be
dangerous to public safety if dispersed in the air. Even short-term exposure
to sulfur dioxide has been linked with an array of adverse respiratory
effects including bronchoconstriction and increased asthma symptoms.The
overturned vehicle has been contained and there is no leak detected and no
immediate risk to public safety at this point, according to the Cochrane
Emergency Measures Group which has convened and put together an action
plan.“A transport truck has overturned on concession 2 and 3 in Cochrane and
is currently resting upside down in a ditch alongside the road,” Cochrane
Mayor Peter Politis, who is the town’s Emergency Measures Group
Co-ordinator, stated in an release issued shortly after noon Thursday.“The
truck is carrying sulfur dioxide which is a hazardous chemical that could
put public safety at risk. Currently, there is no immediate risk to public
safety and no leaks are being detected. We have some of the most experienced
people in the country who have taken over the accident seen along with the
Ontario Provincial Police and the Town of Cochrane.Politis said the
transport moved onto the shoulder of the highway to allow another truck to
pass when the shoulder gave way, causing the sulfur dioxide-filled transport
to flip over into the ditch and onto its back.“The best technology available
is being deployed and is currently being used by the team to monitor the
site," said Politis. "The homes in the immediate area and down-wind of the
incident have been informed and are being monitored closely by the control
group. A plan has been put in place that has all the key services on the
ready and that provides residents in the potential danger zone an option to
either stay in their homes, or if they aren’t comfortable, spend the night
elsewhere.”Politis said the hazard “should be cleared by late this evening
(Thursday) barring no new occurrences. A plan is in place in the event a
leak occurs during the mediation process to move people and provide
protective services. The vehicle in question is a new vehicle and designed
to withstand these kind of incidents. All considered, we are not declaring a
public emergency at this point and don’t see an immediate danger to the
public accordingly.“At the moment, people are safe and the best experts
available are on the scene.”Residents in the area are asked to remain calm
and visit the town website at www.cochraneontario.com to stay on top of any
changes in the development.Politis said the Canadian Red Cross has been set
up to accommodate those living within a kilometre of the overturned truck if
they don't feel comfortable staying in their homes. (Timmins Press)
Transportation - Rail
July 12, 2014
Emergency crews responded Saturday to a train car leaking sulfuric acid near
Interstate 80 in Tooele County. The North Tooele County Fire District
reports from 40 to 50 gallons of sulfuric acid spilled on the ground, but
the leak did not pose a public danger. The district was notified about
7:15 a.m. of the leak coming from a car several cars behind the westbound
freight train near the Delle exit. Union Pacific officials say they
were coordinating a cleanup.
July 11, 2014
A hazardous materials team was deployed to a University of Colorado lab
Friday evening, after a facilities worker discovered sulfuric acid leaking
from the building's ventilation system.At about 7:30 p.m., emergency
officials became aware of the leak, which occurred at CU's Cooperative
Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. The Boulder Fire
Department's haz-mat team and CU's Environmental Health Safety Department
both responded.According to Mike Lowry of CU police, the leak was discovered
by a heating and air conditioning worker, who had noticed liquid dripping
from a vent hood.In his attempt to stop the leak, one of the man's hands
came in contact with the acid. According to Lowry, the man has recovered and
did not need immediate medical care.By 9:30 p.m., Lowry said, the leak was
contained. The building will resume normal hours Saturday.Sulfuric acid is
strong and highly corrosive, and used mainly in petroleum refining as well
as the manufacture of fertilizers, chemicals and explosives.This is the
second time haz-mat has been deployed to CU since June 20, when a lab
assistant had to be taken to the hospital following a leak in a shipment
containing frozen human plasma, breast milk and feces.
July 10, 2014
Liaoning Province, China
The former manager of a chemical company in Northeast China's Liaoning
province who didn't assume responsibility for a sulfuric acid leak that left
seven people dead has been sentenced to 25 years in prison by Beipiao city
court, Legal Daily reported on Wednesday.Gou Weimin, former manager of
Yantong Commercial and Chemical Company in Beipiao, changed the thickness
and height of the company's sulfuric acid storage tanks, according to
Beipiao city people's procuratorate.In March 2013, a sulfuric acid tank
exploded as a worker was welding it. The tank leaked 26,000 tons of sulfuric
acid, killing seven workers. The economic losses from the incident reached
12.1 million yuan ($1.95 million), according to reports.
Transportation - Rail
July 3, 2014
Sumter County, Florida
A Sumter County railroad crossing is back open after a train struck a
tractor-trailer.It happened around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the railroad
crossing on County Road 104 and U.S. 301.Florida Highway Patrol troopers
said an Allied Van Lines tractor-trailer was traveling westbound on CR-104
when the trailer's landing gear became impaled at the crossing.The conductor
of a 68-car Union Pacific train saw the obstruction on the tracks and
attempted to stop to avoid the collision, but was unsuccessful.The train,
which was full of molten sulfur, hit the trailer.Troopers said the train did
not derail or lose its load.No injuries were reported and charges are
pending in this crash.
Transportation - Rail
July 3, 2014
Traffic was detoured Wednesday afternoon near Bainbridge Avenue as
firefighters dealt with a small fire in one of CP Rail’s open-top sulphur
cars running along the Winston Avenue corridor. The Burnaby Fire
Department was called out to the 6800 block of Winston Avenue around 1:15
p.m. on July 2 when one of CP’s open-top rail cars carrying sulphur began
smoking, assistant fire Chief Rick Weir told the NOW. “The sulphur was
on fire. No visible flame just smoke,” he said. The department’s
Hazmat team from the Edmonds fire station was dispatched to the scene. The
fire itself was contained to one car only and took minutes to extinguish,
Weir added. “We went through our protocol – had the Hazmat team
respond, contacted CANUTEC (Canadian Transport Emergency Centre), and we
contacted CN hazardous materials team,” he said. “They (CN) sent out a
representative and it was just a simple matter of putting spray over top of
the cart.”The area, however, was closed for several hours while firefighters
and CN staff set up a perimeter to ensure the surrounding wildlife and
waterways wouldn’t be damaged, Weir said. “It took a couple of hours
to set up and just to confirm with all the different agencies that there was
going to be no run-off or run-off problems into Still Creek or Burnaby Lake.
Once that was taken care of, we knocked it (the fire) down with water,” he
said. Weir added that the cause of the fire is unknown and the local
department won’t likely investigate it further. Once the fire was put
out, CP staff and Burnaby firefighters checked the rest of the train before
it was allowed to continue on its way.
Transportation - Road
June 30, 2014
Shahdara Town police 'unnecessarily' impounded a Chakwal-bound truck loaded
with two tones of sulphur on late Saturday. A police official claimed
that personnel deployed at Ravi check-post stopped the truck for checking
and impounded it after finding a huge quantity of sulphur. Saeed Khan
and Hazrat Muhammad Khan were legally transporting chemical used for blowing
salt mines, he added. The official said the suspects also showed
license to policemen who instead preferred impounding the truck and booked
two 'suspects' in a case complaining that sulphur, an explosive substance,
was being transported in an unsafe manner. Police registered a case
under Sections 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible
matter) and 286 (negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance) of
Pakistan Penal Code and formally arrested two suspects. City SP
(Operations) Asad Sarfraz Khan claimed the suspects, who were just carriers,
had failed to produce original license and a staff member of the person who
owned chemical later showed a copy of license which was not considered as
admissible evidence. He said police had yet to receive original
license from the person who owned the seized quantity.
June 27, 2014
No one was hurt in an acid leak at a water treatment plant in Pittsburgh's
North Side on Friday, officials said. Fire and EMS officials were
called to the ALCOSAN plant on Preble Avenue shortly after 1 p.m. for a
report of sulfuric acid leaking from a 1,500-gallon tank, public safety
spokeswoman Sonya Toler said. Sulfuric acid is a highly corrosive mineral
acid that's used in wastewater processing. The acid spilled into a
container built into the system as a safety feature, she said. She estimated
about 200 to 500 gallons of acid spilled into the container. Officials
evacuated four people from the building, Toler said. “It was truly a
tank failure,” said ALCOSAN Executive Director Arletta Scott Williams. “It
just ruptured.” ALCOSAN hired a contractor to remove the material and
clean up the spill, and will investigate the incident, she said. The
container the acid spilled into is designed to hold up to 162 percent of the
contents of the tank, she said.
Transportation - Road
June 21, 2014
A TRUCK carrying 28,000 litres of sulphuric acid on Thursday overturned in
Mufulira and the chemical spilt into a tributary of the Kafue River, raising
fear of water contamination. The incident happened at 14:30 hours after the
driver of a Gomes Haulage truck registration number ACK 6984 which was
ferrying sulphuric acid from Mopani Copper Mine's plant to the Democratic
Republic of Congo, failed to negotiate a corner and overturned few metres
away from the Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company water treatment plant.
The two tanks on the truck openedand the acid scotched grass and the nearby
vegetation. The acid also produced strong acid mists that affected
many motorists, school-going children and people that were in nearby
buildings. Rescue and fire brigade teams from Mopani Copper Mines and
Mufulira Municipal Council moved in swiftly to prevent Sulphuric acid from
causing further damage by pouring bags of lime in the affected areas.
Water experts from the mine, Mufulira district administration and the water
utility, Mulonga Water, were seen taking samples to ascertain the levels of
pollution the acid spillage had caused to the water. Mufulira district
commissioner Chanda Kabwe, who rushed to the scene, said all stakeholders
had teamed up to prevent further damage to the water, the environment and to
also to protect the lives of the people. "The driver of the truck was
speeding and he failed to negotiate the corner on that curve and that's how
the truck flipped. That stream flows into Kafue River and our worry was that
Kafue River is our source of water because the water utilities pump from
that river and there are a lot of other activities such as fishing and
farming that is done by people," Kabwe said. He said the government
district administration had done everything possible to ensure that the
seepage does not harm people. "We have gone around the townships in
Mufulira with public announcement systems advising people not to take water
from taps until further notice. We have also advised everyone to keep
children away from the streams and the main Kafue River because it's
dangerous in the meantime. We have barricaded these places," Kabwe said.
And Mopani Copper Mines public relations manager Cephas Sinyangwe said the
company reacted swiftly and with assistance of the local emergency services
contained and neutralised the acid. "The driver of the contractor
truck was not injured and there was no one else involved in the incidence.
We continue to work closely with the relevant authorities and the cause of
the incident is being investigated," Sinyangwe said.
Transportation - Rail
June 16, 2014
CN Rail continues its cleanup of — and investigation into — a train
derailment near Fort Frances.The railway has
confirmed some hazardous material spilled when 35 cars went off the rails
three weeks ago. In an e-mail to CBC News, the railway said most of
the derailed cars carried potash, while two contained molten sulphur.
Both materials spilled when the cars derailed. CN said molten sulphur
is a dangerous good, but calls the amount of it that leaked "very minor."
Potash is not a dangerous good under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods
Act. The railway's environmental and engineering crews remain at the
scene to monitor and repair the site. The railway and Transportation Safety
Board are still trying to figure out what caused the derailment. Fort
Frances resident Debra Elias said the incident has her thinking about
railway safety. “If they want to travel with dangerous goods or
anything like that down the tracks, I just want to make sure everything is
being taken care of,” she said. “The majority of us do live along the
tracks.” Elias said even her workplace overlooks the train tracks.
Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Chief Frank Sheppard said one of the cars
containing the molten sulphur had about an 18 inch breach. He said the
spill was considered very minor because “one of the characteristics of the
product is — if it does leak out — it cools and, generally, as it did in
this case, will form a plug and seals itself. It really was a best-case
scenario, and there was very little risk to anyone." The derailment
happened on May 23, at 3:30 p.m. central time.
Transportation - Road
June 12, 2014
A semi-truck carrying corrosive acids caught fire Thursday morning,
causing the closure of Interstate 8 in both directions near Wellton for
several hours, according to the Wellton Fire Department. Battalion
Chief David Rodriguez said the call came in at about 8 a.m. and firefighters
were en route to the scene, which was at mile post 33, when they were
informed the truck was pulling a trailer carrying five tanks filled with
hydrochloric and sulfuric acid. "We don't know why, but the fire
started underneath the back end of the trailer," Rodriguez said. Once
on scene, Rodriguez said firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and
cooled the tanks down so they wouldn't rupture. The three tanks closest to
the end of the trailer, he said, suffered fire damage while the two tanks
near the front of the trailer were undamaged. Two of the tanks,
however, one containing hydrochloric acid and one containing sulfuric acid,
did develop leaks and began spilling acid onto the roadway. The Tacna
Fire Department also responded with a water tender and relayed additional
water to Wellton's engine so firefighters could continue spraying the tanks.
Rodriguez said Interstate 8 in both directions was closed, and as a
precaution the area within a mile of the incident was cleared. "With
the wind changing directions, we didn't want traffic driving into the
fumes," Rodriguez said. While the eastbound lanes reopened at 10 a.m.
Rodriguez said the westbound lanes remained closed until noon, some four
hours after the incident. A Hazmat crew from Marine Corps Air Station
Yuma was called in to plug the leaks on the tanks while the Arizona
Department of Public Safety flew another crew in on a helicopter from
Kingman to handle the cleanup. The Wellton Police Department, The Yuma
County Sheriff's Office and TriValley also responded to the incident.
Transportation - Rail
June 4, 2014
Lac La Biche, Alberta
Crews are working to clean up 50,000 litres of molten sulfur that spilled
when seven train cars derailed northeast of Edmonton. The Canadian
National Railway train derailed on Friday afternoon 72 kilometres north of
Lac La Biche. Alberta Environment says a CN dangerous goods team
contained the spill from three of the cars and continue to clean it up.
No one was hurt. The government says molten sulfur doesn't pose a risk
to human health or the environment unless it is heated to an extreme
temperature. CN says the rail line has since reopened.
May 15, 2014
Firefighters were called to
deal with an acid spill at a warehouse in Sutton last night. Crews
from Ashfield and Stockwith were called to deal with a spillage of 25 litres
of sulphuric acid at the premises of Kuehne and Nagel on Orchard Way at
10.24pm. Firefighters wore chemical protection suits and breathing
apparatus to tackle the spillage. Absorbent granules and matts were
used to contain the chemicals. There were no reported injuries caused
by the incident.
May 14, 2014
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
A state environmental
spokeswoman says a sulfuric acid leak at a silica plant in West Virginia's
Eastern Panhandle has been stopped. Department of Environmental Protection
spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater says an unknown amount of sulfuric acid
leaked Tuesday afternoon from the U.S. Silica plant along U.S. 522 in Morgan
County. Gillenwater said Wednesday that there also was a leak of
caustic material. She didn't know what the material was or have details
about that leak. She says both leaks were stopped shortly before
midnight Tuesday. Gillenwater says the sulfuric acid leaked as workers
were transferring the substance from a 6,000-gallon tank to a smaller tank.
She says both leaks were contained on the plant property. No injuries
with the WV DEP were on site at U.S. Silica May 13 and 14 assessing the leak
of sulfuric acid and caustic or petroleum sulfonate. The leak occurred
May 13 and it is estimated about 5,000 pounds of the acid, 3,000 pounds of
caustic and 600 pounds of petroleum sulfonate were released into secondary
containment. A spokeswoman for DEP said the company will be conducting
soil samples as a precaution. Although, they say the leak was contained in a
secondary containment wall after an employee accidentally pulled a line
loose with a loader as material was being transferred from a large tank to a
smaller one. While initial indications are that the material stayed
within secondary containment, the company will conduct the soil samples to
make sure nothing leached into the soil, DEP said. The Environmental
Protection Agency also has a representative on the spill site, officials
May 3, 2014
than 150 litres of sulphuric acid has spilt at a car making plant in
Emergency crews were
called to the Ford Broadmedows Assembly Plant just after 5pm, where they
stayed for more than seven hours to contain the spill. One man was
taken to hospital as a precaution, but the mess does not pose any threat to
April 25, 2014
Hawaii County emergency response
teams investigated a sulfuric acid spill early Friday afternoon in Hilo.
Battalion Chief Warren
Sumida said approximately 250 gallons of sulfuric acid fell off the back of
a flatbed truck at BEI Hawaii located at 430 Kekuanaoa St. BEI Hawaii
distributes fertilizers, industrial and agricultural chemicals.
Kekuanaoa Street was closed temporarily while BEI employees cleaned up the
spill. Sumida said other emergency response teams were called upon to
investigate potential damages.
Sumida said the spill
leaked into a nearby dry well and that the Department of Health was on the
scene testing the waters near Wailoa River State Recreation area to see if
any contamination had occurred. Deborah Ward, spokeswoman for the
state Department of Land and Natural Resources, said the spill was
contained. “It was discovered that the acid spill from the BEI
location was contained in a dry well and none of the acid reached the
Waiakea Pond or any waters in our park. Our park is not affected,” she said.
Sumida said one
employee was taken to the hospital as a precaution. No statement was
given by BEI as of noon Friday about the condition of the individual or the
incident. The Hawaii County Fire Department, the Hazardous Material
Response Team, representatives from the Department of Health and DLNR were
present following the spill.
April 23, 2014
A spill of low-grade sulfuric
acid drew emergency personnel to an east lot behind Valent BioSciences Corp.
in Osage on Thursday morning, but no one was injured and the spill was
trapped and later removed. Capt. Kris Olson of the Osage Fire
Department said a Cargill vehicle with a box trailer was pulling away from
the building Thursday morning when the driver noticed something leaking from
the vehicle. The material was battery acid. None of the spill occurred
within the Valent building and was unrelated to the Valent operation or car
go, according to Olson. A 300-foot radius of the area was evacuated.
The acid was washed to a drain and trapped; a hazardous materials recovery
unit was on the scene Thursday afternoon to pump out the acid and remove it.
March 5, 2014
factory was at the centre of a chemical spill on Wednesday morning.
There was a small leak of sulphuric acid and hydrogen peroxide at Semefab’s
plant on Eastfield industrial estate in Woodside. The company
manufactures semi-conductors. The fire service was initially alerted to the
incident when the firm’s fire alarm was activated. One crew from
Glenrothes went to investigate but when they got there they asked for a
second unit to attend. Then the firefighters requested the
decontamination team from Methil as it became clear chemicals had been
involved. Fire crews donned decontamination gear and breathing
apparatus sets but the incident was being handled by the workforce itself.
One crew is still there and has been laying down absorbent pads to soak up
February 26, 2014
Port of Spain
A Chemical leak aboard a
vessel at the Port of Port of Spain yesterday caused several workers to be
rushed to hospital and a section of the port to be shut down for some five
hours. According to reports, around 2 a.m., there was a leak of
diluted sulphuric acid from a consignment belonging to Specialist Chemicals
Ltd. The incident took place on Bay 13. Three workers complained
about feeling unwell and were rushed to the Port of Spain General Hospital.
The doctors gave the employees a clean bill of health and the trio all
returned to work. One of the employees, however, complained of still
feeling sick when he returned to work. He was sent back to the
hospital for further examinations. The leak was said to have occurred
on the deck of a vessel, which was moved to a section of the port that was
evacuated. The area of the leak was “cleansed and sanitised” and
measures were taken to avoid any further contamination. The deck was
washed down. Public relations manager of the Port Authority of
Trinidad and Tobago Betty Ann Gibbons yesterday confirmed the incident,
saying a “very minor leak of diluted sulphuric acid had occurred”.
Gibbons said the safety officers at the port were
able to get the situation under control. President of the Seamen and
Waterfront Workers’ Trade Union (SWWTU) Michael Annisette yesterday said the
union’s safety officer met with officials on the issue of the leak. An
investigation is to be launched to determine the cause. Annisette said
luckily for the affected workers, the sulphuric acid was diluted or else the
repercussions could have been “dangerous and hazardous”. Annisette
called for mechanisms and processes to be put in place to avoid a
February 24, 2014
A fire service clean-up crew
is responding to a sulphuric acid spill near Halswell Junction Rd. A
spokesman said the 30-litre spill was at a commercial property in Foremans
Rd. ''It is [a reasonable spill], but I wouldn't call it substantial,'' he
said. ''Initial reports were that it had fallen off a truck.'' ''I believe
it has all been contained.'' Representatives from Environment Canterbury,
WorkSafe New Zealand, Christchurch City Council and the police were on
site. The spokesman said sulphuric acid was ''certainly a hazardous
substance'', but ''the scene has been made safe''.
February 23, 2014
A man was taken to the
hospital after he was burned by sulfuric acid at Samsung Austin
Semiconductor Sunday afternoon, officials said. The incident was
reported about 3:40 p.m. on company property at 12100 Samsung Blvd. in
Northeast Austin, according to Austin-Travis County EMS. The man, who was in
his 40s, burned 9 percent of his body with sulfuric acid that had a
concentration of 95 percent, EMS spokesman Mike Benavides said. The
man was taken to University Medical Center Brackenridge with injuries that
were not considered life threatening. Benavides said that the
company’s emergency response team decontaminated the man and prepared him
for transport before EMS arrived.
February 21, 2014
F - 1.5 tons of sulfuric acid have spilled in southern
Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports
citing the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Kazakhstan. The accident
happened on February 19, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. local time. The driver of a
Sintuonik tank truck owned by Zarechnoye company lost control of his vehicle
when transporting sulfuric acid and tipped the truck over spilling 1.5 tons
of sulfuric acid on the ground. Nobody was injured. The tanker was put back
on wheels and towed to the base, the spill site was scraped and covered with
soil. There were several similar
cases back in 2013 when sulfuric acid spills happened in Kyzylorda Oblast in
southern Kazakhstan. 1.5 tons of sulfuric acid was spilled on May 5, 2013
and then 34 tons of acid was spilled in June the same year.
February 20, 2014
The southbound lanes of Highway
99W near Newberg were partially closed late Thursday afternoon because of a
hazardous materials spill in the area.
A spill of sulfur
dioxide was reported about 3:15 p.m. just southwest of Newberg, where
99W widens into four lanes. The southbound part of the highway was
closed about 3:30 p.m., then one lane was reopened to traffic. Traffic was
flowing northbound. Fire officials said they were helping several
patients get out of a nearby business, Newberg Steel and Fabrication.
February 19, 2014
seemed normal when staff at Phillips Fertilizer in Lomond decided to take a
lunch break on Wednesday, Feb. 19. Before grabbing a bite, staff was
using a reciprocal saw to remove metal support rods from a storage room
housing a sulfur pile. The bars hadn’t been necessary for about 10 years and
were getting in the way of the new storage method. As they left for
lunch, workers looked over the pile to make sure sparks from the saw hadn’t
ignited the sulfur. Everything looked clear, and so they left.
But about half an hour later, employee Karlee Garrett noticed smoke coming
from an exhaust fan and asked the plant’s owner Robert Phillips if it that
was normal. A quick inspection of the sulfur pile revealed it had
begun to smolder, and the Lomond Fire Department was called. The gases
emanating from burning sulfur are dangerous and cannot be inhaled, said
Phillips, himself a volunteer firefighter. Until responders arrived,
Phillips made about a dozen trips into the storage room — holding his breath
— to combat the fire, and ended up going through four fire extinguishers.
Once on-scene, the responders used their breathing apparatus to deal with
the smoldering sulfur, and, in less than an hour, the situation was safely
resolved. Staff had been removing the old metal support bars with a
reciprocal saw because the bars were impeding the new storage method. But
until the support bars were removed, the forklift didn’t have room to
manoeuvre and stack the bags up. The metal bars once served a purpose
when the fertilizer was dumped directly into the storage room — as the level
rose, the walls would have been pushed outwards if not for the bars holding
them in place.
Transportation - Road
February 10, 2014
sulfuric acid leak from a tanker truck backed up northbound traffic on
Highway 75 at 23rd Street South Monday. The Tulsa Fire Department says
10 to 20 gallons of sulfuric acid leaked onto the highway from the
tanker parked in the outside lane. Traffic was backed up for several
miles as authorities moved all northbound traffic to the inside lanes.
The fire department says firefighters are standing by as a remediation crew
cleans up the spill to get the outside lane reopened. The
Oklahoma Department of Transportation says drivers should expect to see
significant delays in the area for several hours.
Transportation - Road
February 7, 2014
A tractor-trailer carrying sulfuric acid came
unhitched Friday morning on Needmore Road near Home Depot. At about
10:15 a.m., the tanks on the back of the vehicle came unhitched from the
cab. There were no leaks, according to Clarksville Police spokeswoman
Natalie Hall, but, as a precaution, Clarksville Fire Rescue responded, and
traffic was diverted away from the scene. Tennessee Highway Patrol is
investigating the incident. By 12:30 p.m., the scene was clear, the
truck was back in motion, and the road was open, Hall said.
Transportation - Road
December 10, 2013
No molten sulphur released after tractor
trailer hits ditch.
Dawson Creek RCMP has released further information about the tractor trailer
that ended up in the ditch on the Dangerous Goods Route around that city
Monday morning. Sergeant Scott West says the incident occurred before 10:45
a.m. when a B-train lost control and went off the road. The trains
remained upright, while the tractor ended up on its side. The truck
was carrying molten sulphur at the time, but luckily there was no release of
product or risk to the public. The tanks were emptied, and removed following
the towing of the cab. The driver sustained minor injuries as a
result. Slippery roads are being considered a factor in the accident,
and as such, RCMP is reminding drivers to slow down as highways are covered
in packed snow and ice. “Please leave extra time for your trip and
call ahead to advise your destination you might be late,” says Sergeant
West. “It is always better to go slowly and get their late rather than not
getting there at all.”
||November 29, 2013
A HAMPSHIRE chemical company has been fined £120,000 after three
workers suffered acid burns when pipework at its plant near Southampton ruptured,
sending a jet of sulphuric acid 20 metres into the air. The three men were
hit by a spray of the corrosive chemical without warning when 50 year-old
pipes that had been allowed to corrode finally gave way. The men were all
employed by an on-site contractor at the Polimeri Europa UK Ltd chemical
plant in Hythe. This comes as
company has formally announced the closure of its site in Cadland Road,
Hythe, by March next year, after more than 50 years trading. The firm -
which manufactures synthetic rubbers mainly used for tyres and moulded foams
- says 134 employees face losing their jobs, but many more contractors work
there bring the total to as much as 300. The incident, on 13
December 2011, was investigated and the Polimeri was prosecuted at Southampton
Crown Court today for
serious safety failings. The court was told the three men had
all sustained acid burns to their faces but prompt showering on site and
first aid treatment by a fellow worker helped prevent more serious injury.
All three were subsequently able to return to work The incident
involved pipework, used to carry 96 per cent sulphuric acid, which had split
close to where the three men were working on an unrelated task in the
roadway in between areas of plant. The pressure in the pipe
turned the corrosive liquid into a jet spray as it was forced through the
small perforation. The investigation identified that Polimeri,
part of one of Europe's largest chemical companies, Versalis, did have a
plan to inspect their pipework systems in 2008, but initial target dates had
been missed. Priority was being given to pipework carrying
other hazardous substances, which were considered a greater risk to people
on and off site. It was foundthe company had failed to make
sure its pipework - the company has around 9,250 metres of it - was in a
safe condition and corrosion had been allowed to take hold of the section
that carried the acid. Polimeri Europa UK Ltd, of Cadland
Road, Hythe, Southampton, was fined a total of £120,000 and ordered to pay
£18,023 in full costs after admitting a breach of both Section 2(1) and
Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Transportation - Road
|December 4, 2013
An 18-wheeler carrying molten sulfur overturned early Wednesday and closed a
portion of River Road in St. James Parish for seven hours, forcing detours,
Louisiana State Police reported. Trooper Evan Harrell said the sulfur
spilled from the truck across the highway, blocking both lanes of La. 18 two
miles south of the Sunshine Bridge. The area is near the Mosaic Faustina
plant. The driver, Calvin Brown, no age or hometown available, fell
asleep behind the wheel while he drove eastbound on La. 18, said Harrell,
spokesman for State Police Troop C. The Savage tractor-trailer went off the
highway and overturned about 4:06 a.m., he said. Brown was cited for
careless operation and had minor injuries, Harrell said.
Emergency response crews, including State Police Hazardous Materials,
contained and cleaned up the sulfur, Harrell said. Responders used
fire hoses to cool the heated, molten sulfur still leaking from the tanker
until it hardened and was sealed inside the tanker, he said. The 18-wheeler
had to be towed away. River Road reopened about 1:08 p.m. Wednesday,
||November 6, 2013
The Rotorua District Council is urging locals to be on the lookout
for smoke or fires around Sulphur Point and Ngapuna following a number of
small sulphur fires in the past two weeks. Council geothermal
inspector Peter Brownbridge said sulphur fires were natural events which
could occur as a result of sulphur growing and pushing its way to the
surface, forming yellow mounds. Leaves and twigs from nearby tea trees
accumulate on the mounds when there is no rain to wash it away. A
combination of heat in the ground and the sun can ignite the dry material,
which in turn ignites the sulphur. Mr Brownbridge said in the past
couple of weeks there had been four sulphur fires in the Sulphur Point area
alone. "So far we've been lucky the fires have been spotted and our
fire service has extinguished them before the flames have reached nearby dry
scrub. "The reason we're having fires at this time of year is still a
bit of a mystery, although some patterns are starting to emerge.
"We're certain however, that the fires are a naturally occurring phenomenon
and are not being deliberately lit." Mr Brownbridge said that, in
daylight the flames were not visible and apart from the smoke, all that
could be seen was a black mark spreading along the ground as the sulphur
slowly burns. He urges local people to call the Rotorua Fire Brigade
as soon as they see smoke in these areas. "I'd caution people not to
approach the fire because when sulphur burns it produces sulphur dioxide
which is a very toxic gas and is an acute irritant. "The tea tree and
debris is tinder dry and people may potentially find themselves in a
life-threatening situation if the fire takes hold in the scrub. "Some
of the ground surface in these areas has a very thin crust which people can
also fall through, so this is another danger to be aware of," he said.
Transportation - Road
|November 4, 2013
An unexpected split in the trailer involved in
today’s Barkly Highway sulphuric acid spill has been discovered as rescue
crews attempted to return the trailer to its wheels. Queensland Fire
and Rescue Service (QFRS) Acting Area Commander Anthony Brewin said it was
revealed the trailer had a split from the accident as a rescue crane worked
to lift the overturned trailer. It was originally hoped that more than half
of the 14,000 litre tank carrying the corrosive acid had not leaked but it’s
understood the majority of the load has leaked onto the side of the road.
The acid is 98 per cent concentration. “There was a crack on the lower
side (of the trailer) as they went to return it to its wheels,” Mr Brewin
said. “They had to lower it back down to stop it all running out.”
The Department of Environment and Heritage has been informed and is liaising
with on-site scientific experts. The last of three prime mover
trailers carrying 14,000 litres of sulphuric acid tipped about 42 kilometres
from Mount Isa shortly after 11am today. The Mount Isa to Camooweal Road was
blocked until earlier tonight but traffic is now being allowed to pass
through intermittently. The driver was uninjured but it’s believed he
swerved to avoid hitting a kangaroo.
Crews will now work into the night with a bulldozer, crane and recovery
services on site to mitigate any danger. Mr Brewin said 4.5 tonnes of
soda ash and 15 tonnes of hydrated lime was headed for the crash site to
neutralise the acid. Chemical experts are on site. Makeshift
dams on the side of the road are being dug to help dispose of the acid.
Transportation - Rail
||November 3, 2013
A Canadian National
Railway Co. (CNR) train derailed
about 180 kilometers (111 miles) west of Alberta’s capital Edmonton today.
Thirteen cars on a train traveling eastbound derailed around 1 a.m. local
time, including 12 loaded with lumber and one carrying sulfur dioxide, which
is considered a dangerous good, Patrick Waldron, a CN Rail spokesman, said
in an e-mailed statement. There were no injuries or environmental
concerns because the car carrying sulfur dioxide is upright and not leaking,
Waldron said. CN Rail crews are on site and the cause of the derailment is
being investigated, he said.
||September 18, 2013
A scrapping and recycling company was removing sulfur from an industrial
plant Monday morning before a chemical reaction forced several hundred
people from their northeast-side homes.
No workers were inside the factory when the chemical reaction occurred.
They’d been working several weeks inside the former Convoy Containers plant
without incident, said attorney Jon Troyer, who represents the building’s
But there were warning signs long before Monday’s widespread evacuation.
In late 2010, while Convoy Containers was winding down operations, the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited and fined the cardboard-
and plastic-container maker for, among other things, failing to adequately
control the accumulation of sulfur dust, an explosive.
Convoy Containers operated at the 1811 20th Street NE site for more than 35
years, according to Scott Zurakowski, an attorney who represents former
One of Convoy Containers’ main products was known as “Chemboard,” an
exclusive product developed in 1947, according to the company’s website.
The plant had nine vats, or dip tanks, of sulfur, according to its air
quality permit, said Mike Settles of the Ohio Environmental Protection
Agency. The company used the dip tanks to “french fry” the Chemboard,
according to its website.
When OSHA cited the company in December 2010, it noted that there was the
potential for an explosive concentration of hydrogen sulfide above the
liquid sulfur in the dip tanks, but no way to detect or prevent a possible
explosion. The company also failed to adequately control sulfur dust, the
OSHA fined the company, which went out of business in 2011, for several
“serious” violations. It later agreed to an informal settlement with OSHA.
The building’s owner, Howard Trickett of Marlboro Township, also was
fined. Convoy Containers had been the building’s long-time owner, but sold
it to Trickett in 2009. In turn, he leased 19,200 square feet back to the
company. Trickett operated his own business, EnvirOpak, out of the plant for
a short time, including the period when the OSHA violations occurred.
||August 27, 2013
Idaho Falls firefighters responded to a HAZMAT
incident and a minor fire at Idaho National Laboratory facilities on
Tuesday. The more serious of the two incidents occurred shortly after
2 p.m. in an INL building that is under construction at 775 University
Boulevard. Idaho Falls Fire Department Division Chief Brad Pettingill said a
55 gallon barrel of sulfuric acid was accidentally punctured; the acid
subsequently spilled in the basement of the building and splashed onto a
construction worker’s arm. The man, whose name was not released, was
treated at the scene and then transported by ground ambulance to Eastern
Idaho Regional Medical Center with what appeared to be minor burns,
Pettingill said. The building was evacuated while HAZMAT crews worked
to contain the spill and ensure that the acid didn’t seep into the sewer
system through a drain. Pettingill said they were able to secure the area
and a specialized team is expected to go in and clean up the sulfuric
acid. The second incident involved a minor fire at the Engineering Research
Office Building, located at 2525 N. Fremont Ave. Pettingill said a
maintenance worker spotted a fire in the area of an elevator that had
recently been repaired. The worker shut off the power and used a fire
extinguisher to put out the flames. The fire, which may have been
caused by the elevator’s motor, was already extinguished when firefighters
arrived, Pettingill said, adding that the building had also been evacuated
due to the fire alarm. The employees were able to return to their work
roughly 30 minutes later, after firefighters confirmed that everything was
OK, Pettingill said. Misty Benjamin, an INL spokesperson, said 663
people work in the Engineering Research Office Building, including Battelle
Energy Alliance employees, subcontractors and visiting scientists and
engineers among others. “The office building doesn't contain research
laboratories or nuclear materials and the only lab space in the building is
related to high performance computing,” Benjamin said.
||August 22, 2013
Officials in Mercer and Lawrence counties are dealing with a sulfuric acid
spill at Wheatland Tube early Thursday.There was a storage tank containing a
12 percent sulfuric acid solution that ruptured, according to a report from
the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.“The solution
overflowed secondary containment, flowed out of the building and across the
parking lot in a storm drain and was discharged into a drainage ditch,”
according to the report.The ditch flows into an unnamed tributary and then
to the Shenango River about a quarter mile downstream.“An estimated 5,000
gallons of the solution was released with an undetermined amount reaching
the ditch,” according to the DEP report.The emergency response team noticed
that there were some dead fish where the river and the tributary met,
according to the report.“The next available downstream location was checked;
no dead fish were observed and the pH was similar to upstream locations
above the impacted area. It was surmised that the dead fish were from the
tributary and washed into the Shenango River, and the spill had minimal
impact on the Shenango River,” according to the report.
||August 14, 2013
Uncle Sam, Louisiana
||August 14, 2013
Long Beach, California
The southbound Long Beach (710) Freeway onramps from eastbound and
westbound Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach were closed Wednesday morning
to allow crews to clean up a non-hazardous spill of sulfur, the California
Highway Patrol reported.
The spill was reported at 10:18 p.m. Tuesday, according to the CHP.
The closure was originally expected to last around two hours, but the
onramps remained closed at 7:15 a.m. as crews worked to clear the scene,
according to the CHP. It was unclear how the sulfur spilled.
||August 8, 2013
Fire rescue officials in Tampa, Fla., asked residents to stay indoors
temporarily after a release of sulfur dioxide from a tank in the port.
Tampa Fire Rescue Spokesman Capt. Lonnie Benniefield said the chemical was
produced Thursday morning when firefighters poured water onto a small blaze
in a silo containing sulfur in the Port of Tampa. Winds carried the smell
into the downtown area. Benniefield says sulfur dioxide can be harmful
if someone is in an enclosed area, but is not as harmful in the open air.
But as a precaution, officials briefly asked people to stay indoors to avoid
any possible irritation to their eyes and lungs. The request was later
A plume of smoke and gas was rising from a sulfur storage tank at Gulf
Sulphur. Officials say workers there were battling a small fire that
started during routine maintenance. They tried to douse the flames with
steam, but that only created a new problem, because the roof of the tank had
holes in it and the steam and gas were not contained. "When you add
water to sulfur in that state, it turns into sulfur dioxide which is -- if
it gets out -- can cause some eye irritation and maybe some throat
irritation," said Capt. Lonnie Benniefield. Video provided by Tampa
Fire Rescue closer to the scene, shows Haz-Mat workers trying to contain the
escaping gas cloud, but they soon realized the wind was pushing the fumes
toward the city.
August 13, 2013
For the second time in less than a week, Tampa Fire Rescue put out flames
at the same Port of Tampa fertilizer tank. The tank is owned by Gulf
Sulphur. Now, firefighters and the fire marshal are closely watching
as company workers offload the sulfur so the tank can be thoroughly
inspected. The process is expected to take a minimum of three days.
Once empty, the tank must pass a complete inspection and must submit a
certificate to the fire marshal's office. Last week Thursday, the fire
at the tank prompted the department to issues warnings about potentially
harmful fumes. Residents in south Tampa and Harbour Island were even
told to stay indoors if possible because the fumes could cause eye, skin and
throat irritations. Tonight, only one business south of the fire was
evacuated. However, a precaution was issued to people in south Tampa.
Officials said there was no imminent threat tonight because Mother
Nature is lending a hand. With the wind heading in a southeast
direction, the fumes are moving away from highly populated areas.
Ladder trucks are out sprayed water into the tank. Bennefield
described the sulfur as being molten.
Bennefield explained that the the sulfur is kept warm by a system of
heated coils that are installed around the tank. As of 7 p.m., the
cause of the fire had not been determined. Tampa Fire Rescue did
contain the fire in less than an hour. The Port remained open through
Transportation - Rail
|August 6, 2013
Clean up continues at the site of a train derailment which ruptured four
containers spilling sulphuric acid after a wooden bridge over a wash
collapsed Tuesday morning, seven miles south of Naco, Ariz. Mario
Novoa, the Douglas Fire Chief, reported that firefighters from Cananea, Agua
Prieta, and Naco, Mexico were on the scene at the derailment, waiting for
heavy equipment to arrive, late Tuesday evening. Twelve cars, each
carrying approximately 23,775 gallons of sulfuric acid, were involved when
the bridge collapsed between 7:30 and 8 a.m. Tuesday. Four of the cars
ruptured in the crash, two of which emptied completely shortly after
the event. “The actual derailment occurred sometime between 7:30 and 8
o’clock this morning,” Novoa said Tuesday evening. The fire chief said
he was first notified of the accident by the Environmental Protection
Agency’s San Francisco office. “At this time we have reports that the
acid has traveled approximately 800 meters close to the communities of
Cauthemoc and Zaragoza townships,” Chief Novoa said. At 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday night, it was being reported that firefighters were “… waiting for
heavy equipment to help dike the acid and they are also waiting for lime to
neutralize the acid.” Call said it did not appear the spill would have
an impact on the San Pedro River. “At this point the spill is not
thought to be a danger to the waters of the San Pedro river and there are no
reports of casualties,” Call said in his newsletter. No injuries or
deaths due to the accident have been reported, Novoa said.
||August 1, 2013
An explosion at a refinery owned by Chile's state
oil company ENAP has killed one worker. ENAP says contractor Francisco
Segundo Suarez Sandoval died in Wednesday's blast while performing
maintenance with other workers. The company said the explosion at
Aconcagua refinery was caused by a sulfuric acid leak inside the refinery's
hydrogen plant. At least three people were taken to hospitals with
injuries. ENAP says the refinery has started an investigation into the
||July 27, 2013
Savannah-Chatham County police say crews are cleaning up sulfuric acid
leaked by a tanker truck as it traveled through downtown Savannah and into
neighboring Garden City. The Savannah Morning News report authorities
found the leaking truck Saturday and discovered traces of the acid along its
route. Police spokesman Julian Miller says several vehicles appear to have
been damaged by the leaking chemicals. But no injuries to people had been
reported. Police warned drivers in the area to steer clear of puddles
that may contain acid. Chatham County Emergency Management Agency
spokeswoman Kelly Harley says owners of cars and trucks that may have been
contaminated by sulfuric acid should cover the area with baking soda and
then rinse it with water to neutralize any acid.
||July 27, 2013
A massive explosion destroyed a chemical factory in eastern Chinese province
of Shandong today. The Luxi chemical factory site in Liaocheng city, where
the explosion took place, was engulfed in a ball of fire. The Chinese
state television showed photographs from the scene with the area turned into
a heap of twisted steel. No reports about any casualties were
available immediately. The factory produces refined chemicals including
sulfuric acid and chemical fertiliser.
||June 11, 2013
Scary moments Tuesday morning at the Doe Run Company smelting plant in
Herculaneum after a pipe full of sulfuric acid broke injuring three workers.
Two had only minor injuries and they were treated and released from nearby
hospitals. One man however was hit in the face with acid. He was
airlifted to Mercy Hospital`s burn unit in St. Louis. But a
firefighter at the scene said those facial burns were apparently not the
ambulance crew`s most immediate concern. “Anytime you have a burn to
the face you are always concerned about the airway because things swell up
real bad on you and getting that airway secured in essential to maintaining
their life and survivability,” said Capt. Kevin Baker of the Herculaneum
Fire Department. “The patient started feeling some tightness so the
ambulance district decided to (put a breathing tube) in him and transfered
him to St. Louis.” There was no update Tuesday night about the
identity of that man or his condition. According to the company, the
trouble started when workers went to check on a small leak in a storage line
carrying sulfuric acid. In a written statement, Gary Hughes, General
Manager of the smelting division explains what happened next. “It
appears that during the course of the inspection, an employee may have
accidentally come into contact with the line and the connection broke apart…
The damaged line has been isolated, and there is no further risk to other
employees or the environment. The incident is under investigation.”
||June 7, 2013
Illegal dumping of sulfuric acid on Bureau of
Land Management (BLM) public lands near the Battle Axe Road trailhead
parking area near the junction of Battle Axe Road and State Route 177 has
created a public health hazard requiring remediation. On June 7, 2013, BLM
Tucson Field Manager Brian Bellew signed a temporary Closure Order to
restrict public access on June 14 during the site cleanup. The road will
reopen the following day.
An environmental emergency response contactor
will be at the site on that date. “The company will excavate, containerize,
remove, and dispose of sulfuric acid contaminated soils at a licensed
landfill,” said BLM geologist Dan Moore, who serves as the HazMat
coordinator for the office. Underlying soils will be treated with an acid
neutralizer. Moore added that, “Due to the nature of the contaminant and the
remediation activities planned, the potential for the release of sulfuric
acid vapors and contaminated dust creates a risk to persons in the immediate
vicinity during the remediation operation.”Thus, under the authority of 43
CFR § 8364.1, the public lands in Township 3 South Range 13 East Section 8
SW¼ SE¼ and Section 17 NW¼ NE¼, Gila and Salt River Meridian, Pinal County,
Arizona, will be temporarily closed. This closure includes Battle Axe Road
from the State Route 177 turn off west to the Battle Axe Road trailhead
parking area. The area is closed to all public entry on June 14, 2013,
reopening to public entry on June 15, 2013.
April 17, 2013
contained sulfuric chemical spill on Wednesday forced the evacuation of a
building in downtown Provo. A company near 500 West 500 South that tests
how much heat chemicals produce when mixed together was changing out a tube
of sulfur trioxide when the tube fell, reacting to the moisture in the air
and started giving off a lot of smoke, said Provo Fire Battalion Chief Tom
Augustus. When sulfur trioxide comes in contact with water, it forms
sulfuric acid, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease
Chevron Corp. (CVX) reported that material from a sulfur
transfer line was leaking into a bayou at its 330,000 barrel a day
Pascagoula, Miss. refinery in a filing with the U.S. Coast Guard's National
Response Center Sunday. The company reported that a
sulfur transfer line at a flange was leaking, and material is entering Bayou
Cassotte, a tributary of Mississippi Sound. The company wrote in the filing
that a maintenance crew was on the way to the line. A
spokesman for Chevron was not immediately available for comment.
||March 2, 2013
A massive sulphuric acid leak at a warehouse in northeast China has
killed at least three people.
The official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday that the leak spread into
areas surrounding Fangshen village in Liaoning province, preventing rescuers
from approaching the area. It wasn't exactly clear when the leak occurred,
and Xinhua said authorities were still trying to verify the number of dead.
Xinhua said the 2,000 cubic meters (2,616 cubic yards) of sulphuric acid
leaked from a storehouse used by a family business. It did not give a cause
for the accident, and local government officials reached by phone said they
had no information.
Improper storage and transportation of explosives and dangerous chemicals
is a frequent cause of deadly accidents in China.
Transportation - Rail
||February 21, 2013
Just before midnight Wednesday, three words
brought a stream of emergency crews and hazardous materials units to a
wooded corner of Cecil County just north of Interstate 95: liquid sulfuric
acid. A train operated by CSX Corp. derailed about 11:45 p.m., and
initial reports said two cars contained the highly corrosive and
environmentally dangerous substance. Luckily, officials said, the acid
didn't leak, even though the cars containing it were off-kilter. "They
were either sideways or just off the rail, but none are on their side," said
CSX spokesman Bob Sullivan of the nine cars determined to have slipped off
the tracks. The derailment comes as the federal government
investigates another recent CSX train derailment in Maryland that killed two
young women. Emergency crews from three states responded to
Wednesday's incident, including the Cecil County Department of Emergency
Services' hazardous materials team and units from Elkton and North East,
Newark, Del., and West Grove, Pa., the county department said.
Officials at the state Department of the Environment also sent their own
hazardous materials experts to oversee the process of righting the cars
containing the acid without causing a leak, said Jay Apperson, a department
spokesman. No injuries were reported, and there was no danger to
residents in the area, near Route 213 north of Elkton. That road was closed
by the emergency response. Sullivan said the 90-car train, pulled by
three locomotives, was traveling from Selkirk, N.Y., to Hamlet, N.C. Aside
from the cars full of acid, the train carried cars with boxed merchandise
and covered hoppers full of iron ore. The railroad expected to clear
the derailment by Thursday night, Sullivan said. The cause will continue to
The derailment came nearly six months to the day after another CSX
train derailed in historic Ellicott City in Howard County, killing two
college students who were sitting on a railroad bridge over the former mill
town's Main Street and raising concerns about the safety of CSX rail lines
throughout the region. Just before midnight on Aug. 20, 21 cars of an
80-car coal train jumped the tracks, burying Ellicott City natives Elizabeth
Nass and Rose Mayr, both 19, and the street below in coal. A massive
cleanup followed. A preliminary report on the derailment released by
the National Transportation Safety Board in September appeared to focus on
track conditions, further stoking concerns about safety. The report named
the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, a union whose members
handle track maintenance, as a party to the investigation. The report
showed the train was traveling at the speed limit of 25 mph at the time of
the derailment. Eric Weiss, a NTSB spokesman, said the Ellicott City
derailment investigation was continuing but could not say when the final
report would be released. The NTSB is not investigating the Elkton
derailment, he said. Sullivan said CSX did not have any updates on the
Ellicott City derailment, either, and is awaiting the NTSB report.
Last year, CSX experienced 130 derailments from January through November,
according to the most recent data available from the Federal Railroad
Administration, the regulatory agency for the industry. The Ellicott
City derailment caused more than $735,000 in equipment and track damages.
Initial estimates put total damages, including environmental remediation
costs, at about $2.2 million.
Transportation - Rail
||February 20, 2013
The busy National Highway stretch at Chackai was closed to traffic on
Tuesday morning after a huge spillage of sulphur was discovered on the road.
The spillage mixed with rainwater caused vehicles to skid dangerously,
forcing the authorities to shut down the road and launch frantic efforts to
wash away the mess. The yellow-coloured chemical element was found
spilled all along a half-kilometre stretch of the Chackai- Enchackal road
and is presumed to have fallen off a vehicle transporting it. The heavy rain
on Monday night aggravated the problem. A foul smell also pervaded the
entire region. The Vanchiyoor police, who are investigating the case, have
not identified the vehicle yet. Pocket roads in the region witnessed
traffic snarls for hours after the police started diverting vehicles. The
police cordoned off the area and the incident caused traffic snarls on all
the nearby roads. The spillage was detected as early as 3 am on
Tuesday, but the danger was identified only after the traffic movement on
the stretch increased by 8 am. By then, the Fire and Rescue Services
Department had rushed two fire tenders from its Chackai unit for damage
control. Fire and Rescue Services personnel said they launched their
operations on a war-footing on Tuesday morning after motorists complained of
skidding. ‘’The sulphur had mixed with the rainwater causing vehicles,
especially two-wheelers, to skid. We immediately launched efforts to wash
off the sulphur from the road,’’ an official said. By afternoon,
firemen succeeded in removing the spillage to either side of the road. ‘’We
sprayed water to reduce the slippery nature of the road. The work was
completed by noon,’’ a top Fire official said. “The cause of the
leakage was not known and the vehicle has not yet been identified. The
incident happened on the National Highway. The vehicle is yet to be
identified,’’ Vanchiyoor sub-inspector George said. Vehicles moving
towards East Fort through Enchackal were caught in the traffic snarl. The
diversions that were put in place by the Highway Police were not effective
as the alternative roads were narrow and the volume of traffic was too
large. Shopkeepers in the area had no option but to down shutters
owing to the intensely foul smell. “This busy part of the town, which leads
to Airport, Ananthapuri Hospital and East Fort, has been so since Tuesday
morning. We had to take a roundabout route to reach hospital,” said the
Satheesh T, who was accompanying a patient to the nearby Ananthapuri
Transportation - Rail
February 17, 2013
Rescuers are working to contain a
sulfuric acid leak from cisterns which derailed at a copper plant in the
Russian Urals Sverdlovsk region on Sunday. “The sulfuric
acid leak area is 100 square meters,” Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said.
The accident has not affected the work of the plant, it said.
A total of 12 cisterns derailed at the plant. Only two cisterns were
filled with sulfuric acid, local emergencies services said.
Some 27 rescuers and 57 workers of the Sredneuralsk Copper-Smelting
Plant at Revda are involved in the effort to contain the leakage.
At least a dozen tanks carrying
sulfuric acid derailed on a line at a plant in the Urals. The acid spilled
over an area of some 100 square meters. The acid escaped
through the tanks’ valves as part of the train cars overturned in the
Sverdlovsk region, said the spokesman of the regional Ministry of Emergency
Situations. "There was a spill of sulfuric
acid, but there is no threat to residents as the nearest homes are 20
kilometers away from the scene," Valery Gorelykh said.
The incident happened on Sunday at about 4 pm Moscow time (12 GMT at
the "Sredneuralskiy copper smelter” in the town of Revda). Measures
are being taken to tackle the consequences of the accident. Sorbent has been
used to neutralize the sulfuric acid, Gorelykh said. 27 emergency rescuers
and 57 employees of the plant are operating at the site. 10 vehicles
are involved in the process. The exact number of tanks
and the contamination of the area is still unclear. Earlier RIA Novosti news
agency reported citing the emergency representatives at the site, that 15
tanks derailed and spilled acid on an area of 1,000 square meters.
Meanwhile, the Federal Service of the consumer’s rights reported that
the acid spilled from two derailed cars on an area of 500 square meters. The
agency sent experts to examine the level of contamination in the area.
The plant is still operational and there has been no evacuation of
personnel, as no health risks are present, according to the ministry.
A previous major accident involving sulfuric acid happened in the Sverdlovsk
region in November 2010 when two cargo train cars collided causing a spill
at the Yekaterinburg- Sortirovochniy railway station. The area of the
contaminated soil was 105 square meters. Smaller incidents involving acid
are quite frequent. Sulfuric acid is a very aggressive
substance. Human exposure affects the respiratory tract and skin causing
burns. Penetrating into the soil sulfuric acid dissolves easily in water and
evaporates. The acid contamination of soil causes the increase of heavy
metals in ground waters which can be toxic to the environment.
Transportation - Rail
Port Arthur, Texas
Traffic was shut down Thursday night
when a tractor towing a tank trailer containing molten sulfur crashed into a
Toyota Camry in the 4300 block of Memorial where TX 69 connects with SH 73
in Port Arthur. At about 6 p.m., police were dispatched
to the location and discovered that the tractor had failed to merge into the
correct lane from SH 73 onto TX 69 and struck the Camry that was in the
inside lane, according to Sgt. C. Segler with the Port Arthur Police
Department. Segler said the Toytoa hit the concrete
retaining wall, while the tractor attempted to steer away from it by
overcorrecting the wheel, which caused it and its connected trailer to
overturn. Due to the Haz-Mat conditions of the wreck, the
roadway was closed and traffic was diverted for a few hours while the Port
Arthur Fire Department and emergency services inspected the overturned
tractor for any leaks, which were not found. Both drivers
had minor injuries and were taken to local hospitals for treatment, Segler
said. At press time, no sulfur leakage was found and all
compartment hatches were secure, he said. Via Blackboard
and the Southeast Texas Alerting Network, PAPD was able to notify area media
and the public about the wreck in hopes to stop any further traffic
||October 17, 2012
A sulfur dioxide leak at BP’s refinery in Texas City
in the U.S. state of Texas led to the issue of an alert for surrounding
communities on Wednesday, local media reported. Sulfur dioxide leaked
out of a stack uncontrolled at the refinery at about 10 a.m. local time,
according to the local TV channel KHOU. The leak only lasted for a few
seconds, according to a spokesman for Texas City Emergency Management.
Shortly after the leak occurred, a Level 3 alert was issued for the plant,
and workers were evacuated, the report said. The Level 3 was later
reduced to a Level 1, and workers were allowed to return. Sulfur
dioxide is a toxic gas that can caused respiratory problems and death,
according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The Texas City
refinery is the site of an explosion in March 2005 that killed 15 people and
injured scores of others.
||October 3, 2012
Burns Harbor firefighters
successfully contained a release of 1,000 gallons of sulfuric acid on
Tuesday in the parking lot of the Pilot Travel Center at 243 U.S. Highway
The BHFD was dispatched to the scene at
1:30 p.m., Fire Chief Bill Arney told the Chesterton Tribune today, after a
trucker hauling 10 500-gallon containers of sulfuric acid reported a leak.
The trucker advised that he’d
been on the road, was forced to brake hard, and felt his load shift. He then
pulled into the Pilot center to check for any damage to the containers and
immediately noticed the acid pouring from the rear of his box truck. “The
guy said it looked like a waterfall,” Arney said.
The acid itself was packaged in
square plastic “totes” reinforced by a metal framework and intended to be
not only stackable but more or less unbreachable. “Ideally, they’re not
supposed to puncture,” Arney noted.
Two of them did, however, and a
stream of acid was the result, leading from the truck to the back of the
Pilot parking lot.
Firefighter used 42 50-pound bags
than a ton of it—as well as “haz-mat booms,” which Arney described as “big
absorbent socks,” to contain the acid before it got into a pair of detention
ponds at the rear of the property.
Sulfuric acid is a lung
irritant, though, and firefighters were forced to wear masks and air tanks
for respiratory protection, Arney said. As a precaution, the Pilot itself
was evacuated until the BHFD had monitored the air quality in the
given the all-clear. Employees were then allowed back inside.
For a time too U.S. 20 in front
of Pilot was closed to traffic.
Also responding to the scene were
a hazardous-materials team from the Porter County Environmental Department
and an inspector from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Arney did say that, as a
corrosive, the acid caused the asphalt in the parking lot to soften and
bubble, until a private contractor retained by the trucking company—Gully
Trucking Inc. of Quincy, Ill.—had applied a chemical to neutralize the acid.
Under Burns Harbor Town Code, the trucking company is responsible for the
cost of the cleanup, Arney added.
The BHFD officially cleared the
scene around 3:30 p.m. but personnel were on site until 10:30 p.m.
The Porter Fire Department
remained on standby for the BHFD at its own station, PFD Chief Lewis Craig
||October 2, 2012
No injuries were reported Tuesday morning when a small amount of sulfuric
acid leaked out of a 75 gallon barrel at the Solutia Inc. plant in Indian
Orchard. Firefighters were summoned to the 730 Worcester St. facility
shortly before 10:15 a.m., Dennis Leger, aide to Commissioner Joseph Conant
said. “The acid ate a hole through the side (of the barrel) and it
started leaking,” said Leger, adding that the acid was safely contained
within a dike area. “It didn’t pose a hazard to anybody.” Solutia’s
in-house hazardous materials team dealt with the incident and the
Springfield Fire Department was called in to standby as a precaution, Leger
||October 1, 2012
The southbound lanes of MLK near Cardinal drive are
open, but the northbound lanes are expected to be closed until at least 6
p.m. Monday following a sulfur spill Monday morning. Emergency
environmental clean up crews and the Beaumont Fire Department were called to
an area near Lamar University early Monday to clean up the spill. It
happened on MLK Boulevard near Cardinal Drive. Crews began cleaning up the
mess around 1 a.m. The spill caused MLK to be shut down from Sulphur
Plant Road to East Lavaca. No injuries were reported.
||September 27, 2012
The exit to James Robertson Parkway from Interstate 24 eastbound is
expected to reopen today after being closed since Monday when a tanker
spilled sulfuric acid. Beth Emmons, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department
of Transportation, said the acid contaminated the soil, requiring more time
for cleanup. The trucking company responsible for the
spill, identified by Clarksville
Police as Palm Trucking of La Vergne, brought in a cleanup crew from West
Nashville HAZMAT, she said. “We just handle the road closure,” she
said. “They are having to dig up a lot of tainted soil, but they are in the
process now of putting dirt back.”
Officials said Wednesday afternoon that the exit ramp would reopen by 6
a.m. The spill occurred near exit 48 on James Robertson Parkway, east
of LP Field, around 6:10 p.m. Monday after the driver noticed a leak in his
tanker near downtown Nashville, Metro Fire Department spokesman Charles
Shannon said. This stretch of Interstate 24 was the subject of a
months-long project by the Tennessee Department of Transportation over the
summer. Crews worked to repair a series of bridges from the Interstate 65
split to the Shelby Avenue bridge. Emmons said the spill was not
affecting any of that work. “We sent a lab tech out to test what
effect the sulfuric acid would (have on) the pavement,” she said. “As it
turns out, there is no damage.” The tanker appears to have leaked
sporadically after leaving the Nyrstar zinc plant in Clarksville, according
to Jerry Buchanan, interim director of the Montgomery County Emergency
Management Agency. Parts of some roads were closed in the Clarksville
area Monday night, but the leak does not appear to have persisted along the
driver’s entire route, Buchanan said. “(Palm Trucking was) supplying a
customer,” said Darin Cooper, spokesman at Nyrstar. “To the best of our
knowledge, the tanker sprung a leak after it left our property. Emergency
services has told us that there was minimal environmental damage and minimal
risk to the public, but we’re as interested as you are in finding out what
happened.” Efforts to reach Palm Trucking were unsuccessful.
||September 14, 2012
Xingning District, Nanning
Six people, including a toddler, were injured in a
sulfuric acid spill in China's southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region,
local police have said. Over two tonnes of sulfuric acid flew through
the gate of the plant and onto a busy road outside, toppling several
motorcycles and injuring at least six people, police said. The
accident took place on Friday when the sulfuric acid was being unloaded from
a truck at a plant in Xingning District of the provincial capital Nanning,
state-run Xinhua news agency reported. A one-year-old
child sustained serious burns covering 19 per cent of his body, it said.
An initial investigation shows that an improper unloading practice
caused the spill, it added.
Mormugao planning and development authority (MPDA) is
waiting for the town and country planning department (TCP) to decide on the
demolition of tanks of Ganesh Benzoplast Ltd. The plant suffered a sulphuric
acid leak at berth No. 8 of Mormugao port on Tuesday.
MPDA had served a demolition notice to the company over 10 days ago, but the
company approached TCP. MPDA chairman Krishna Salkar told TOI that TCP's
decision is awaited. The latest leak occurred during
pumping of acid from the port to the plant. MPT chairman
P Mara Pandiyan immediately suspended the operation and ordered an inquiry.
As a precautionary measure MPT decided to also decant all the residual
sulphuric acid in the pipeline to ensure it was dry and safe.
Pandiyan told TOI that the company has been informed that no new ship
of theirs will be allowed in the port till all precautionary measures are in
place. A preliminary inquiry shows the leakage was caused
by the movement of a crane over the pipeline. It was also determined that
the pipeline contained about 160 tonnes of sulphuric acid.
||September 9, 2012
Snubbing efforts by authorities to stop its controversial operations, Ganesh
Benzoplast Ltd was allegedly involved in yet another leakage when sulphuric
acid spilled into the sea. The incident occurred at Berth No. 8 of the
Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) on Saturday evening during pumping operations to
the Ganesh Benzoplast Ltd tanks at Sada Bogda, Vasco. The incident
came to light when the dead fish was found floating in the sea.
According to a source, the vessel ‘Galaxy’ carrying 8,000 metric tonnes of
sulphuric acid anchored at Berth no. 8 on Saturday at about 5 pm. The
source further informed that while pumping the sulphuric acid to the Ganesh
tanks on Saturday, at about 7.30 pm, the acid leaked into the sea, due to
which dead fish was seen floating near the vessel. “The matter was
brought to the notice of the port authorities, who immediately suspended the
pumping operations and directed Ganesh Benzoplast officials to plug the
leakage and start the operation only after securing all safety measures,”
added the source. The source said the operation was suspended for
almost two hours and only after the leakage was plugged, the pumping
operations resumed. When contacted, MPT officials, speaking on the
condition of anonymity, confirmed the leakage, but declined to comment
further. Speaking to Herald, Murgao Action and Vikas Samati President
Sankalp Amonkar informed that he had forewarned the authorities about the
sulphuric acid vessel that will be anchored at Berth No. 8, but Mormugao
Planning and Development Authority (MPDA) failed to act in the matter.
“The Ganesh Benzoplast tanks are a threat to human life and despite the
residents opposing construction of the two LPG tanks. Mormugao Municipal
Council (MMC) surprisingly gave permission to construct the tanks and carry
out its activities,” stated Amonkar. When contacted, MPDA Chairman
Krishna Salkar said the company has appealed against their order with the
TCP and as such the matter is sub-judice. Salkar, however, maintained
that MPDA will strongly pitch for the demolition of the tanks, as it
concerns the lives of the residents of Mormugao and Vasco. It may be
recalled that on July 5, a furnace
oil leakage was reported at Ganesh
Benzoplast tanks and after inspecting the site, the MPDA had issued a stop
order. Since the company failed to comply with the order, the MPDA on August
27 served demolition notice, which is pending before the TCP.
July 18, 2012
Eleven employees at the Guardian West Flex-n-Gate
facility in Urbana have been taken to hospitals in Urbana after they were
exposed to a cloud of sulfuric acid. Fire Chief Mike
Dilley said firefighters were called to the facility at 2:48 p.m. Wednesday
after a truck driver released the sulfuric acid into the plant when he
unloaded a product in the back of the facility. Dilley
said the truck driver apparently didn’t complete the hookup correctly. He
was not among the victims taken to the hospital.
Firefighters used fans to clear the sulfuric-acid vapors out of the
building. Dilley said sulfuric acid is an irritant to the
human respiratory system. “If somebody inhales sulfuric
acid, it can irritate the nose, throat and lungs,” Dilley said. “A person
would have to inhale quite a bit of sulfuric acid to be affected.”
Dilley said on Wednesday evening that he has no information on how
much sulfuric acid was involved in the incident at Guardian West.
“The incident created a misty-looking vapor cloud, but the cloud had
largely dissipated by the time we (the fire department) got there, and after
we used a fan, the cloud was gone.” Dilley said the area
where the spill took place had been ventilated and that operations resumed
at the facility at about 5 p.m. Wednesday. Dilley said
the fire department has no information on the identity of the truck driver,
and nobody from the fire department talked to the truck driver.
Dilley said the truck driver did not work for Guardian West, but
worked for an independent trucking company that delivered product there.
Dilley had no information on the name of the company that employed
the truck driver. Dilley said the fire department has no
information on the identity of the 11 people who were sent to the hospital
or the medical condition of any of them. Dilley said the
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act prohibits private
companies like Guardian West from providing information about the identity
of victims to a fire department if the fire department had not acquired that
information by the time the victims were taken to the hospital.
Calls to Guardian West for comment were not returned on Wednesday
evening, but company spokesman Jim Woodcock issued the following statement:
“We understand that 11 employees were taken to the hospital, and our
concern for their health and the safety for all of our associates is
paramount. The plant has been fully ventilated and is now reopened. Tonight
and in the days ahead, the company will closely look into what caused the
fumes, including whether required protocols for outside suppliers were
followed. We will not comment further until a thorough investigation of this
matter is complete. “We would like to offer our thanks to
the Urbana Fire Department and the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
for their assistance, service and commitment.” All 150
workers who were in the plant at the time of the accident were evacuated.
The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District sent three buses to the
plant to provide a place for the workers to stay cool.
Dilley said that Wednesday’s incident is not related in any way to problems
that led the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to fine the
company $57,000 in June for “serious” violations affecting workers at the
Urbana plant. An OSHA spokeswoman had said in June that
workers at Guardian the plant were exposed to dangerous chemicals and did
not receive proper training, examinations or monitoring from their employer.
||July 5, 2012
Twenty-eight people remain
hospitalized after a sulfur dioxide leak occurred Thursday morning at a
chemical plant in east China's Jiangsu province, local authorities said.
Around 10 a,m. Thursday, a small amount of sulfur dioxide was leaked
in a chemical plant belonging to Jiangsu SOPO Group Co., Ltd. in Zhenjiang
City, according to an investigative report released by the environmental
protection bureau of Jianbi county. The leak lasted for
about five minutes, the report said. Shortly after the
spill, dozens of plant employees and local residents began complaining of an
"uncomfortable" feeling and were sent to a local hospital.
The 28 patients who remain in the hospital are under observation and
are in no imminent danger. The plant shut down a sulfuric
acid production facility linked to the accident. A
further investigation is under way.
Residents of Jianbi township of the city's Jingkou district reported around
10 am that they smelled irritating gas and had a hard time breathing. Some
residents were immediately taken by ambulance to downtown hospitals.
Zhu Wenzhong, director of the district's environmental protection
bureau, said the gas leak was the fault of workers at the Zhenjiang Sopo
Chemical Industry New Development Co, which makes chemical products and raw
materials. "The leak lasted about five minutes," Zhu
said. "The company turned off the device that leaked the sulfur dioxide
immediately after noticing the problem. The pollution was halted, and
residents could not smell any gas by the afternoon." The
city's Jiangsu University showed that the amount of sulfur dioxide in the
air did not exceed the country's legal limits. Of the seven air-monitoring
sites the environmental bureau has around the company, five did not detect
any sulfur dioxide, and two detected only small amounts of it.
But some residents disagreed, complaining on the Internet that they
couldn't breathe and the density of the sulfur dioxide wasn't low.
"Some people even said on the Internet that they smelled chlorine,
which was totally wrong," Zhu said. "Many people who are
now in the hospital were not sent by the ambulance. They just went to
hospitals for a health check on their own, to make sure that there was
nothing wrong." Zhu said the company will not be allowed
to resume operations until the problem that created the leak has been
solved. "Sopo will be punished for the leak after the
environmental bureau's evidence collection and investigation are done," Zhu
said. Company Chairman Song Qinhua apologized to the
public Thursday afternoon. "We'll investigate the leak
and do what we can to keep this from happening again," Song said.
|July 5, 2012
A tanker carrying 1,300 tons of sulphuric acid which ran
aground in the Rhine early on Thursday morning, has been freed without
incident. "The ship is free again," a spokesman for the Bingen
Shipping and Water Authority said. The operation to free the
ship was easier and ran more smoothly than expected, he said.
No spillage of the toxic cargo was reported as the cargo tanks remained
intact. The Dutch tanker Synethese III was carrying its
load of sulphuric acid from Ludwigshafen to Antwerp in Belgium when it went
off course and ran aground outside the shipping channel near Oberwesel in
Rhineland-Palatinate. The river authority said the ship was
double-hulled, meaning there was little danger of it sinking or spilling its
toxic cargo into the river. Shipping between Oberwesel and St.
Goar was been suspended following the accident. About 240 tonnes of the
cargo was transferred to another vessel before the ship could be freed.
Both ships will now travel to Duisburg for safety checks.
July 2, 2012
The 4400 block of East Texas Street in
Bossier City is reopen to traffic following an hazardous spill.
A tanker truck carrying a load of sulfuric acid spilled a portion of
its load which forced emergency crews to East Texas Street from Pearl Drive
to Industrial Drive, according to officials. The road was
closed about two hours while a private contractor hired by the trucking firm
neurralize the acid.
June 29, 2012
Boissier City, Texas
A sulfuric acid leak at a south side
chemical company was quickly contained Wednesday morning.
Lieutenant Bonnie Hensley said an employee at General Chemical at 1598 South
Senate found the pinhole leak in a pipe that leads to a large storage tank.
The company put its emergency plans into action. A
team that is trained to handle hazardous materials was called to the scene,
along with IFD, Citizens Water and the Marion County Health Department.
About 1,000 gallons of the highly corrosive acid leaked from the pipe
and came dangerously close to a storm water drain.
Employees contained the spill with soda ash. Crews
offloaded acid from the leaky tank into two other stationary tanks and a
semi tanker truck. No one was hurt and no homes were
A trailer driver helped prevent a
disaster when he noticed that the sulphuric acid he was transporting had
leaked onto the middle tyres of the vehicle. S. Saravana Kumar, 32,
said he had earlier felt a dryness in his throat. Based on the
training he had undergone to transport hazardous material, he suspected
there was a leak. He, along with his assistant, S. Thiagaraja, 32,
were transporting the sulphuric acid from Singapore to the Kulim Technology
Park in Kedah when the incident occurred at 7.30pm on Monday. "I had
just left the Pedas rest area when I felt my throat getting unusually dry.
"I decided to stop at Km259 of the North-South Expressway near the Port
Dickson toll plaza. "Upon checking the trailer, I noticed there was a
leak in the middle and the acid had spilt onto the tyres. During my
training, I was told to contact the authorities if there was any untoward
incident. "I immediately called the Fire and Rescue Department," he
said at the scene. Senior head of operations for the Seremban 2 Fire
and Rescue Department, Sabarudin Ahmad, said two engines from the Seremban 2
and Senawang stations rushed to the scene, along with a hazardous materials
unit (Hazmat) involving 21 personnel. "Twenty-six canisters containing
the acid were moved to another lorry, which was dispatched by the company
concerned. "Investigations revealed a crack in one of the canisters.
"If the driver had not stopped, the crack could have gotten worse and there
could have been a disaster." He added adding that the cracked canister
was patched up before the second lorry transported the chemicals. "We
finished moving the canisters at 2am as we had to wait for the second lorry
to arrive." Sulphuric acid is a strong acid and has a dangerous
dehydrating ability. The acid produces severe and possibly
life-threatening burns to the skin and reacts violently when added with
A large amount of sulfuric acid spilled
in Colleyville on Wednesday afternoon, partially leaking into a storm drain
and sending one man to the hospital with chemical burns.
A police spokesman said he had no idea why the owner of a storage facility
in the 1800 block of Industrial Boulevard needed 275 gallons of the highly
caustic chemical. Nor did he know how the container spilled in an open
garage about 2:20 p.m. It spread several feet into a
nearby storm drain before emergency crews could respond, although
Colleyville police spokesman Raymon Canon said the acid in the drain had
been contained and “posed no immediate threat to public health.”
Fourteen nearby agencies responded and were helping a haz-mat team
soak up the spill. Business to the east of the spill were initially
evacuated as officials worried high winds could send dangerous fumes their
way — which is no longer a concern, Canon said. A man in
his late 20s was transported to a hospital in stable condition, with burns
on his hands, lower legs and feet.
||June 5, 2012
LSB Industries, Inc. released an update
on progress in certain areas of its El Dorado Chemical Company subsidiary's
facility located in El Dorado, Arkansas. The Company
previously announced that on May 15, 2012 the El Dorado Facility suffered
significant damage when a reactor in its DSN 98% concentrated nitric acid
plant ("DSN") exploded. No employees or anyone in the El Dorado community
were injured as a result of the explosion, and there was no environmental
impact. Following is an update to the earlier announcement.
Assessment of Damages and Resumption of
Production at the El Dorado Facility
At this time, the Company intends to
re-start regular nitric acid and ammonium nitrate ("AN") production, on a
partial basis, in approximately 30 days, and increase that production over
the next 90 days, as various plants are brought back on-line. At this time
it is not known when the El Dorado Facility will produce 98% concentrated
-- DSN concentrated nitric acid plant
-- It is unlikely that repair of this plant is feasible. At this time the
Company, along with its insurance carriers, are evaluating the damages. This
evaluation will take several months to complete. The DSN concentrated nitric
acid plant produced approximately 20% of the nitric acid manufactured at the
El Dorado Facility. The Company intends to replace the nitric acid
production capacity lost by this event.
-- Other "regular" nitric acid plants
-- The three other nitric acid plants, which produce approximately 80% of
the nitric acid at the El Dorado Facility, in concentrations from 56% to
65%, sustained less damage. We are in the process of undertaking repairs,
which should be completed over the next 30 to 90 days. Production from these
plants will be phased in over that period as repair of each plant is
-- High-density prilled AN plant --
This plant was returned to operation last week and is running on a limited
basis with feedstock from other sources. High-density AN is used for
agricultural and high-purity industrial applications.
-- Low-density prilled AN plant -- This
plant required only minor repairs, which have been completed. When nitric
acid is available from one or all of the three "regular" nitric acid plants,
the El Dorado Facility will resume production of low-density AN. Low-density
AN is used primarily for industrial / mining applications.
-- Transportation -- The El Dorado
Facility has restarted the truck loading facilities for certain products to
enable the facility to ship inventory that was on hand prior to the
-- Control systems -- The El Dorado
Facility main nitric acid control room structure was destroyed by the
explosion; however, most of the controls remained intact. A temporary
control room will be utilized until a new permanent control facility is
-- Sulfuric acid plant -- The sulfuric
acid plant sustained substantial damage and, as a result, as of this date
the Company is unable to set a target date for return of this plant to
-- General -- In addition to the damage
sustained by the primary production plants discussed above, the electrical
service and various support facilities were damaged. Temporary electrical
service is available at this time. Repairs to the permanent electrical
service and various support facilities will be made over the next 30 to 90
The Company is working closely with
customers to identify alternatives for supply.
The Company believes that it has
sufficient insurance to cover the damages to the El Dorado Facility and to
cover the Company's lost revenue, after $1 million deductible as to property
damage and a 30-day waiting period as to business interruption, per
insurance policy provisions.
Jack Golsen, LSB's Board Chairman and
CEO stated, "The Company regrets the difficulties this incident has caused
its customers, and is committed to restarting production units as quickly as
Mr. Golsen continued "This interruption of business
activities has been unfortunate; however, we are very positive about the
future of our El Dorado Facility. We are committed to repairing and
rebuilding the El Dorado Facility as soon as possible, as we consider it an
important part of our overall Chemical Business. At this time our three
other chemical manufacturing facilities are producing product and continuing
to conduct business."
May 21, 2012
The Massachusetts state hazmat team
suits up after a sulfuric acid spill at a Goddard Memorial Drive business.
Fire officials say a 250 gallon container of 50-percent sulfuric acid
spilled Monday as workers were moving with a forklift and punctured it.
“It was punctured somewhere down about 6 inches from the bottom. A
good deal spilled out and leaked on the asphalt,” says Deputy Chief John
Sullivan. The business, Pan-Glo New England, was evacuated.
Two people, including a truck driver and another employee, were taken
to a nearby hospital after coming in close contact with the chemical.
“They were obviously exposed, inhalation exposure. They were
transported for evaluation.” The hazmat team placed two small
pools under the truck. Goal here is to keep it from spreading any further.
Investigators are taking the tier 2 hazmat situation very seriously.
A portion of the road was closed while the crews worked to quickly
contain the spill. Pan-Glo provides pan cleaning,
straightening and coating services. Officials say sulfuric
acid is used in that process and that it can be extremely dangerous.
“Sulfuric acid is a common industrial use product. As an acid, it is
highly corrosive.” Investigators were able to contain the
spill to a small area in the pan-glo lot and say nearby homes and businesses
should not be concerned. Clean-up crews were still on scene
late afternoon Monday. The Massachusetts Department of
Environmental protection is now investigating.
May 13, 2012
Warren Township, Ohio
The Warren Township Fire Department
says a flange on a line that didn't work is responsible for a sulfuric acid
leak at Arcelor Mittal Steel. Officials say about
12-hundred gallons of sulfuric acid spilled into a ditch and into a drive at
the plant. The Trumbull Hazardous Materials Team assisted
the Warren Township Fire Department to make sure the corrosive acid and its
vapors didn't get into the water system through a nearby ditch.
21 News has been told that Arcelor Mittal Steel, which makes coke for
the steel making process, has hired local contractors to use lime to
neutralize the acid. No one was injured.
||May 4, 2012
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Cleanup of a Salt Lake City chemical
company’s 2,000-gallon acid spill was expected to be completed this weekend.
On Friday afternoon workers at Brenntag Pacific,
2334 W. Directors Row (1100 South just west of I-215) were unloading
sulfuric acid from a rail car when a hose broke and acid overflowed a
containment area, spilling toward nearby train tracks. All 10 workers
evacuated after the 1:30 p.m. spill, but no one was injured. A cleanup
company began cleaning the site Friday night, monitored by the Utah Health
Department, Salt Lake City Fire spokesman Jasen Asay said Saturday.
The health department will make sure "all the sulfuric acid gets cleaned
from the soil," Asay said. Brenntag Pacific is a chemical distributor
with locations around the western United States.
May 2, 2012
Gorman, California, USA
A semi truck carrying a load of
sulphur rolled off the northbound side of Interstate 5 near Highway 138 just
after 2 p.m. today. The truck came to rest near Copco
Avenue just east of I-5 and responding California Highway Patrol officers
arrived to find the driver crawling out of the cab, a CHP report said.
"He suffered only minor cuts and bruises," a CHP officer said.
A Hazardous Material cleanup crew arrived just after 2:40 p.m.
Sulphur is its dry form is not hazardous but diesel fuel was also
leaking from the truck, a Fire Department official said just before 2:30
p.m. Northbound traffic on I-5 through the area has not
been affected, the report said.
April 26, 2012
A section of Km16 Jalan Johor Baru-Skudai had to be closed to traffic for
three hours after two drums containing chemicals fell off a lorry. The
lorry was believed to be heading towards Johor Baru when the accident took
place at around 9am yesterday. Twenty-three firemen, including a
hazmat (hazardous material) team from Taman Universiti Fire and Rescue
Department, rushed to the site about 10 minutes later to retrieve the
contents of the 1,800kg drums, believed to be sulphuric acid, which spilled
onto the road. Fire operations commander C. Kesavan said the drums
were leaking when his men arrived. “There were no injuries and we
stopped the leak at around 1pm. “Initial investigations found that the
lorry driver did not put a harness around the drums, which caused them to
fall off the lorry,” he added. The driver was believed to have driven
off leaving the drums in the middle of the road. Johor Baru (North)
OCPD Asst Comm Ruslan Hassan said police had taken a sample from the drums.
“No one was injured in the incident,” he said, adding that police are
looking for the driver to help in investigations.
April 24, 2012
Polk County Florida
About 1,000 gallons of sulfuric acid spilled from a trailer in Polk
County, burning a truck driver and forcing officials to close a roadway.
The spill happened about 5:50 a.m. Tuesday on Highway 60 at Rifle Range Road
in Bartow. All lanes of Highway 60 have been closed in the area.
According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the driver made a "hard
stop," causing six pods of sulfuric acid to fall off the trailer he was
Hazmat crews spent most of the day Tuesday cleaning up a dangerous
acid spill that shut down a section of Hwy 60 near Bartow for over 12
hours. A truck driver hauling sulfuric acid made a hard stop at
Hwy 60 and Rifle Range Road around 5:45 a.m. Tuesday, according to Polk
County Fire Rescue spokesperson Brad Ruhmann. When he did, six pods,
each containing 250 gallons of the corrosive liquid, went over and off
the rig. Close to 1,000 gallons spilled onto the roadway.
Ruhmann says authorities immediately sent out a reverse 911 call to area
residents and businesses to warn them of the spill, because sulfuric
acid can be very dangerous if inhaled. Thankfully though, Ruhmann told
us, the wind was blowing toward a direction where there were no area
residents, so no evacuations were necessary. That was good news
for those who live nearby, but it wasn't the same for the truck driver,
identified as Eric Garland of Wauchula, Florida. According to
Ruhmann, he "got out of the truck, and from what I understand, he
attempted to clean up some of the mess." Which was not the right thing
to do. Garland was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital suffering
from second-degree burns to 10 percent of his body, mainly his legs.
Florida Highway Patrol says there is a long list of regulations in place
to prevent these type of spills. All drivers not only need a commercial
driver's license, but also a special permit to transport chemicals.
"Motor carrier drivers are required to understand and know what they're
transporting at all times," said Sgt. Steve Gaskins with FHP. "They're
also required to do pre and post trip inspections of their load, and
periodic inspections as well throughout their routes." Polk Fire
Rescue says the company involved in the accident is Davis Supply Inc.
based in Fort Myers. According to the Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration, this was not the company's first incident. The
agency reports two previous chemical spills in 2010 in Florida, with one
caused by an abrupt stop. There were no reported injuries in those
accidents. Davis Supply Inc. was also fined more than $500 last
year for unloading materials improperly, according to the agency.
ABC Action News left several messages on the phone numbers listed on the
company's web site, but has not received a call back. The road was
finally opened by 6:45 p.m.
April 23, 2012
Yosemite National Park
A portion of Highway 41 just south of Yosemite was closed Monday. A
tractor trailer carrying powdered sulfur lost control and slammed into a
guard rail. Highway Patrol says the driver was under the influence.
Hazmat crews worked in the blistering sun dressed head to toe in safety
gear. CHP tells us a tractor trailer lost control and slammed into a guard
rail. "He was under the influence of something," said CHP officer Doug
Corbett. The sulfur did start a fire. It raged one acre up a hillside
April 23, 2012
Police force has
been deployed at Soliyakudi village here after an acid-laden lorry fell into
the village oorani (water body) in the wee hours on Sunday. Sources said the
lorry was heading to Chennai with sulphuric acid from a Sterlite industry in
Thoothukudi. The accident occurred when the driver, Ilayaraja of Cuddalore,
lost control of the vehicle, which fell into the oorani located at the
entrance of Soliyakudi village.
Ilayaraja, who was trapped under the lorry, was killed after he was corroded
by the acid. The sulphuric acid spilled into the oorani and got mixed with
the water, which was being used by the local people for several years,
mostly for bathing. Meanwhile,
officials and local people witnessed a large number of dead fish floating in
the oorani due to the acid spill. Based on information, a police team led by
Superintendent of Police Kaliraj Maheskumar rushed to the spot and prevented
the entry of people into the water body. A temporary thorn fencing has been
erected around it. Meanwhile,
the services of Tamil Arasan, Safety Officer from CECRI-Kovilur, Karaikudi,
were requisitioned to take some water samples to test the extent of acid in
the water. A team Pollution
Control Board officials from Sivaganga, led by Bharathi Dasan, checked the
area for pollution, since acid fumes were emanating from the oorani for some
hours. It is said that a team of
officials from the Sterlite company came to the spot to make efforts to
neutralize the water for public use.
SP Kaliraj Maheskumar told ‘Express’ that the team of experts from
Pollution Control Board
conducted water tests in the oorani.
“Steps are being taken to neutralize the water. As such, no one will
be allowed to go anywhere near the oorani till the situation is back to
normal,” he added.
A truck transporting 20
tons of sulfuric acid overturned yesterday in Nanxiong City, south China's
Guangdong Province, spilling the toxic chemical into the Zhenjiang River.
The accident occurred on the provincial Highway 342 yesterday morning.
Firefighters sprayed water and alkaline solution to dilute the acid,
according to today's Yangcheng Evening News. A Nanxiong government
official said the Zhenjiang River is not the source of the city's tap water,
therefore the spill won't pose threat to local residents, but he warned
people not to eat dead fish floating on the river. A heavy rain last
night helped to wash off the acid spilled over the field. Local
environmental authorities are closely monitoring the water quality in the
river, the paper said. No one was injured in the accident and hundreds
of nearby residents were evacuated, it said.
April 3, 2012
Law enforcement shut down I-26 eastbound at the Upward
Road exit after a wreck on the Peter Guice Bridge Tuesday evening.
A Hazmat truck was on fire at around 10 p.m. Tuesday night on Peter
Guice Bridge on Interstate 26 in Saluda, closing all lanes and forcing the
evacuation of residents in the area. Saluda and Blue
Ridge fire departments were called to the scene. All
lanes have been shut down. Dispatch also reported that
the driver said the truck's contents were at least 51 percent sulfuric acid.
At 10:15 p.m. dispatch also requested mutual aid from Valley Hill and
Dana fire departments. It was also reported that there was damage to the
bridge. At 10:20 p.m., rescue personnel at the scene
reported that acid from the truck was running down toward the river.
Regional Hazmat arrived at 11:42 p.m., according to scanner traffic.
The interstate was closed at the Saluda exit westbound and the Upward
Road exit eastbound.
An overturned tractor trailer shut
down part of Interstate 26 Tuesday night. The North
Carolina Department of Transportation closed I-26 eastbound and westbound at
the Peter Guice Memorial Bridge that crosses the Green River Gorge at mile
marker 54. Detours are set up near mile markers 53 eastbound and 59
westbound. The accident happened at 10:08 p.m. Troopers said the tractor
trailer crashed and caught fire and then started leaking sulfuric acid.
Flames were reported to have reached 50 feet high. The
tanker was driving eastbound. As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, the westbound lanes
had reopened. The eastbound lanes of I-26 remain closed at this time and
will be closed while crews inspect the bridge. Officials
said the inspection was expected to last until Thursday, and they will
reschedule eastbound lanes reopening based on the inspection's findings.
They said the bridge was built in the 1970s and has been upgraded over the
years. Drivers traveling eastbound will use exit 53
(Upward Road) to U.S. 176 West to U.S. 25 South into South Carolina, then
S.C. 11 East back to I-26 East. Officials said they
evacuated 51 homes within a mile of the accident. According to dispatchers,
the evacuation was lifted later Wednesday morning.
Hazardous materials teams were called in to clean up the sulfuric acid.
Officials said the chemical could have caused damage to the steel on the
bridge, so Department of Transportation crews will check the bridge to make
sure it is structurally sound. Sulfuric acid is a strong
corrosive acid that's used to make detergents, dyes, drugs, explosives,
pigments, fertilizers and other products. According to
the City of Asheville Fire Department, their crews were called to the crash
to help in the cleanup. Firefighters said the sulfuric
acid mixture was leaking at a rate of approximately one gallon per minute,
so they spread more than 2,000 pounds of lime to neutralize the leak.
Crews said they were able to keep the spill out of the Green River.
Cleanup operations have been turned over to Hepaco Inc., a private company.
Other crews were removing any remaining product from the tanker. The
highway patrol is investigating the cause of the accident.
The fire was extinguished by 7 a.m., but the bridge could be closed
for days, according to dispatch. The Red Cross opened a
shelter at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville. It's located at 312 5th
Ave. Red Cross officials said two families showed up to the shelter and made
alternate arrangements. Officials said the driver of the
tanker was taken to the hospital, but was released Wednesday. Troopers said
they will talk to him to try and find out how the wreck happened. No word
yet on if he will face charges. Reports said a law enforcement officer was
also transported with breathing difficulties, but there were no other
April 4, 2012 - Emergency crews remain on the scene of an
accident which shut down I-26 in Henderson County overnight Tuesday.
Troopers say around 10 p.m. Tuesday night a tanker truck was
traveling east on I-26 and overturned just before the Peter Guice Memorial
Bridge, also known as the Green River bridge. The truck slid out onto
the bridge and burst into flames from sulfuric acid the tanker was carrying.
Investigators say the driver Allan Thomas Van Damme of Ontario, Canada has
non life threatening injuries and was taken to Mission-St. Joseph’s
Hospital. Fire officials say the sulfuric acid mixture was leaking at about
a gallon per minute. Two-thousand pounds of lime was spread over the
chemical and they say none of the sulfuric acid made it into the Green River
below. The Western North Carolina Haz Mat Team remains on
the scene. The
N.C. Department of Transportation has
established a detour route to help drivers headed east avoid the area.
Motorists traveling on I-26 East should take Exit 53 (Upward Road) to
U.S. 176 West to U.S. 25 South into South Carolina, then S.C. 11 East back
to I-26 East. NCDOT expects the eastbound lanes of the interstate to reopen
no sooner than Thursday, however it could be longer if damage is discovered.
Bridge Engineer Chris Lee on the scene tells 7 On Your Side that
there are five bridge engineers currently going over the bridge to look for
any structural damage. They're looking for cracks, corrosion and any effects
the intense heat from the truck fire might have had on the bridge. They even
use x-ray machines to indicate possible problem areas.
Lee says the westbound side looks good, but the eastbound side will take
longer. He says the bridge was built in 1970s and has had
several upgrades since then.
April 24, 2012 - Concerns about contamination of the Green River have
subsided three weeks after a tanker carrying sulfuric acid wrecked on
the Peter Guice Memorial Bridge, but questions about what could happen
if there's a next time have not.
“The concern is, there's a lot of things traveling on our roads, and
no matter what we do to try to protect ourselves, hazardous
substances are traveling our roads in an unsafe manner,” David
Weintraub, executive director of the Hendersonville-based
Environmental Conservation Organization, said of the April 3
accident. “We have very little control over that. This could have
been an incredible disaster.” Particularly disturbing to
Weintraub is that the dangerous liquid was being transported late at
night on a notoriously dangerous stretch of Interstate 26 in the
Green River Gorge. Luckily, the truck crashed on the opposite end of
the long bridge from where a narrow stretch of the Green River flows
beneath it, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Resources
concluded that no chemicals entered any surface water. Tim
Bell, owner of Green River Adventures in Saluda, said he and many
others in the community were very concerned initially that the
spillage might have leaked into the Green River, but he's seen no
evidence of contamination during several kayaking trips and is
satisfied that the river is OK. However, Weintraub said, It
“still begs the question: Why were 41,000 pounds of highly toxic
sulfuric acid traveling on probably the most dangerous stretch of
road in Western North Carolina at 10 o'clock at night?”
April 1, 2012
Ridgewood, New York
Ridgewood emergency responders evacuated a downtown
commercial office building Sunday after a report of a possible sulfuric acid
leak from a battery. According to Ridgewood Fire
Cpt. Robert Kozielski, a worker in the basement of 45 N. Broad St. smelled
an odor he suspected was sulfuric acid just before 3:30 p.m.
The building's basement contains assorted batteries and other
equipment for the Nextel cell antennas on the roof, according to officials.
Bergen County HAZMAT was called to the scene and after ventilating
the building, the agency allowed occupants to return shortly before 5:30
p.m. Sunday. There were no reports of illness or injury,
and carbon dioxide readings in the building were low, responders said.
|March 27, 2012
Noble County, Indiana
Nearly 200,000 pounds of molten
sulfur spilled from a
train car when it derailed early Tuesday morning, northwest of Ligonier.
It's not yet known how much of the molten sulfur has entered a wetland area
which empties into the Little Elkhart River. Right now, state
environmentalists are working to limit the potential damage. The train
has cars carrying two hazardous material: toluene and molten sulfur. It is
the molten sulfur that is creating issues. One of the cars carrying the
molten sulfur started on fire shortly after the derailment. Michael Newton,
Noble County Emergency Management director, told WSBT the big focus is the
chemicals leaking into the marsh and from there into the river, not so much
the fire. Officials are letting it burn itself out because putting water on
it would cause the chemicals to leak out more than they are. Crews set
up at least two booms to try and stop any leakage into the river. No
injuries have been reported after 27 cars of the 59-car train derailed. It's
not yet known what caused the derailment in the area of 1100 West 900 North,
northwest of Ligonier. Dave Pigeon, Norfolk Southern spokesman at the
scene, told WSBT the eastbound train left Elkhart en route to Bellevue,
Ohio. Officials told WSBT it was recommended to six families that they
evacuate the area, which is predominantly rural. However, environmental
officials don't believe there is a public safety risk. As soon as the fire
is out, railroad crews can clean up the mess and this quiet, rural area can
get back to normal. Crews say they will be there until at least
Wednesday afternoon. The derailment stopped about 400
passengers from getting to Chicago for a while. They were stuck in Ohio for
about three hours before getting started again. Some were picked up by
a bus. Others got onto another train and took a detour through Michigan.
March 28, 2012
Norfolk Southern has brought in specialists to
evaluate the train derailment near Ligonier. Crews will now smother
the burning train cars with clean soil. Once it's completely out,
they'll dispose of the dirt and remove the cars. They say this will
help control the chemical so it doesn't leak into the air or nearby river.
Norfolk Southern says 21 rail cars derailed when an
eastbound freight train derailed Tuesday around 4:40 a.m. near Ligonier,
Ind. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, three of the derailed cars (two cars containing
molten sulfur and one car containing wine) were still burning.
Eleven of the derailed rail cars contained items classified as
hazardous materials. Ten cars contained molten sulfur (used for making
plastics, dyes, detergents, pharmaceutical products, fertilizer) and one car
contained toluene (used to make paint, paint thinner, fingernail polish,
rubber). None of the toluene appears to be leaking.
Norfolk Southern is working with the Indiana Department of Environmental
Management (IDEM) to monitor air and water quality in the area, and at this
time, there appears to be no evidence of any release of molten sulfur to any
waterway that connects to the Elkhart River. As a
precautionary measure Tuesday morning, an area of approximately a half mile
has been evacuated around the crash site. Tuesday evening, according to
officials, three additional homes were also evacuated. It's not known when
residents will be allowed to return. No injuries have
been reported. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.
An average of 90 to 100 trains, including two Amtrak passenger
trains, use this route daily. Norfolk Southern is rerouting trains that
normally use this rail line in coordination with other carriers as well as
over alternate routes. More than 300 Amtrak passengers
traveling to Chicago have been stranded in Ohio by a freight train
derailment in northeastern Indiana. Amtrak is arranging buses or other
transportation for short-distance passengers. Several
agencies are investigating and working the scene of a train derailment in
Noble County. It happened at 4:40 a.m. on the Norfolk
Southern Line near Ligonier. Noble County Emergency
Management Director Mick Newton said the train was carrying molten sulfur
and flammable toluene. Molten sulfur is used for making
products such as plastics, dyes, detergents, pharmaceutical products, and
fertilizer. Toluene is used for making products such as paint thinner,
fingernail polish, and rubber. Officials also said a
rail-worker was down checking on the derailment when he noticed a small
flame, that eventually caught fire to some of the chemicals the train was
carrying. Officials said right now, the biggest health
concern in air quality. That's because of the burning sulfur.
They said they have tested the water for sulfur and so far, it is clean.
The train was made up of three locomotives and 59 freight cars.
According to Noble County Sheriff Doug Harp, only one car was on
fire. However, multiple cars had derailed just west of the crossing on N
1100 W between W 950 N and W 1000 N. That location is about 2-3 miles
northwest of Ligonier. Harp said an evacuation was
initially ordered for a one mile radius around the site, but that was later
downgraded to 1/2 mile. Harp said it only affected about six homes.
Officials said they don't plan to evacuate any more homes at this time, but
that could change if they can't get the sulfur fire under control or if the
winds shift. The Indiana Department of Environmental
Management is concerned about an environmental impact from the hazardous
material. Crews decided to let the fire burn itself out, but IDEM officials
were monitoring any chemicals that were going into the air and into a nearby
swamp. IDEM officials were monitoring the runoff in that
swamp which eventually feeds to the Little Elkhart River.
Officials were also keep an eye on wind conditions, which are blowing from
the southeast away from Ligonier. Conditions at the crash site, including
wind direction, could eventually force further evacuations. But officials
were not sure if that would happen. Officials on scene
said the train had between 30 and 50 cars, but were not sure how many cars
actually derailed. Multiple agencies, including the
Indiana State Police, said there were no injuries from the derailment.
Sheriff Harp also said several agencies from Noble and Elkhart
Counties were assisting with the situation. Several agencies from the State
were also helping.
March 21, 2012
Authorities are looking at two methods of salvaging a
ship that sank on March 13 near the coast of southern Guangdong province,
but they say there is no guarantee that the sulfuric acid it is carrying
will not leak into the sea. The Kenos Athena, a ship
registered in South Korea, was carrying 7,000 metric tons of concentrated
sulfuric acid and 140 metric tons of residual fuel oil when it sank in
waters adjacent to Zhelang Island, according to a statement on the State
Oceanic Administration's (SOA) website. Authorities are
considering two salvage plans, an official who declined to be named told
China Daily on Tuesday. One plan is to remove the
sulfuric acid tank from the sunken vessel, then set the ship upright, and
then pump it so that it will float. The other is to salvage the ship and
then remove the sulfuric acid, the official said. But
regardless of the method chosen, the acid could leak, and if it touches the
water could even explode, the official said. According to
China Central Television reports, the plan to begin the salvage operation by
removing the tank would take about 25 days, and the second plan would take
about twice as long. The TV report said authorities are leaning toward the
first plan, but no decision had been made. The ship's
owner and the insurance company arrived in Shanwei, Guangdong, to discuss
the salvage operation and cost, according to the official.
A salvage ship would reach the area on Tuesday and await
instructions, CCTV reported. The vessel sank in a
shipping lane and authorities are blocking vessels from coming within 2
nautical miles (3.7 kilometers) of the site. Wu
Jiancheng, a salvage expert in the Guangzhou salvage bureau of the Ministry
of Transport, said at a news conference on Tuesday that he had never worked
on salvaging a vessel carrying so much sulfuric acid and that there had been
no comparable case for six decades. Sulfuric acid reacts
violently with water, releasing enormous heat, and a spill would change the
pH value in the water, which could threaten marine plants and animals, a
marine environment forecaster from the SOA surnamed Yuan told China Daily.
The movement of the water would gradually restore a normal pH value,
but it would take time, he added. The SOA's South China
Sea Branch said on Thursday that "an oil slick" covering 5 to 6 square
kilometers was seen on the ocean surface southwest of the wreck, and the
slick contained a large amount of petroleum-related substance, indicating
leakage from the vessel. No obvious change in the water's pH value had been
detected as of Tuesday, according to the Guangdong's administration of ocean
March 22, 2012 - China has urged the
owner of a South Korean ship, which sank in waters off Guangdong province,
to find a professional salvage company as soon as possible after local
maritime authorities received no response to their salvage request.
The Republic of Korea registered Kenos Athena was loaded with 7,000
tons of concentrated sulfuric acid and 140 tons of fuel when it sank after
water entered its ballast 4.1 nautical miles (7.6 km) offshore near Shanwei
city last Tuesday. Transport ministry spokesman He Jianzhong said
Thursday that "the sulfuric acid and fuel could leak at any time and cause
serious pollution." The ministry spokesman said that
salvaging a ship fully loaded with chemicals would be "very difficult
because China has no experience in salvaging such a ship before". So far, no
leakage had been reported. Guangdong maritime authorities
said they have asked the ship's owner twice to engage a salvage company and
present a detailed salvage plan, but so far have not received a response.
The owner of the 27-year-old ship should take full
responsibility for the accident, He said.
September 27, 2012
After six months of salvage work, the wreckage of a vessel from the
Republic of Korea (ROK) was completely cleaned up on Thursday near the coast
of south China's Guangdong Province, local authorities said Thursday.
All the wreckage of the Kenosathena, which was registered in the ROK and
sank in March, has been cleaned up, said an official with the Guangdong
Maritime Safety Administration. The Kenosathena became a focus of
media and public attention after it sank 4.1 nautical miles (7.6 km) off the
coast of the city of Shanwei, as it was loaded with 7,000 tonnes of
concentrated sulfuric acid and had 140 tonnes of fuel in its tank.
Experts decided to clean up the concentrated sulfuric acid and fuel before
salvaging the wreckage. No pieces of wreckage or sources of pollution had
been detected after the salvage work was completed, the official said.
All responsibility for the wrecked ship should be taken by the ROK side, as
the ship's own problems were to blame for its demise. Guangdong's maritime
administration will seek compensation from ship's owner, the official said.
All 18 crew members -- including 10 from Myanmar, four from Indonesia and
four from the ROK -- had been rescued.
March 15, 2012
A shipwreck that occurred
Tuesday near the coast of southern Guangdong Province has resulted in "a
certain amount of oil spill," the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said on
Thursday, citing monitoring results. The SOA's South
China Sea Branch and Guangdong Provincial Administration of Ocean and
Fisheries started immediate monitoring of potential seawater pollution after
receiving a report that Kenos Athena, a vessel from the Republic of Korea
loaded with 7,000 tons of sulfuric acid and 140 tons of residual fuel oil,
was wrecked in water adjacent to Zhelang Island.
According to a statement released Thursday by the SOA, "a patch of rufous
oil slick" covering about five to six square km was spotted on the sea
surface southwest of the wreckage site, and the slick contained a large
amount of petroleum-related substance, indicating leakage from the vessel.
Meanwhile, further monitoring was under way to confirm whether the
sulfuric acid had also leaked, said the statement.
March 8, 2012
Police are closing River Road at the
Jefferson / St. Charles Parish line on the Westbank. It
comes as officials investigate a reported chemical leak at a Cornerstone
Chemicals plant in Waggaman. Louisiana State Police
report no evacuations at this time. A trooper tells WWL
First News that a team is on the scene and evaluating the situation.
He says the chemical is sulfuric acid.
A reported leak of sulfuric acid at a chemical plant near
Waggaman turned out to be not as bad as feared, and Louisiana State Police
reopened the highway mid-morning Thursday. "It's all good to
go," said Louisiana State Trooper Nick Manale. "The leak wasn't as bad as
initially thought and actually had already been secured" by the time state
police hazardous materials experts arrived on scene at Cornerstone
Chemicals, Manale continued.
Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia
A TRUCK towing a tanker filled with
sulphuric acid caught fire near Darlington today.
CFA crews were notified around 10.35am that a prime mover was on fire.
It was towing a b-double tanker filled with 19,000 litres of
sulphuric acid and authorities. The incident occurred on
the Hamilton Highway, about four kilometres west of Darlington.
The fire was doused quickly and the highway remained open.
Two tankers and a hazmat unit, as well as a police traffic management
unit, were sent to the scene. No one was injured in the
March 2, 2012 - A truck driver was
yesterday thanking his lucky stars that he survived after the cabin of his
B-double tanker burst into flames as he was hauling a load of sulphuric
acid. Peter O’Donnell, from Melbourne, was on his way to
Hamilton carrying 19,000 litres of the dangerous substance when he noticed a
small amount of smoke. “I pulled over and there was a flame under the
right-hand side of the cabin,” he said. “I just didn’t
realise how quickly it would go up.” “There’s not much
left of the old girl.” Mr O’Donnell has been driving
trucks for 30 years and said it was the last thing he expected to happen.
He said another truck pulled over to help and they both used their
fire extinguishers to put the flames out and called triple zero.
“We used the fire extinguisher but it was just too windy,” Mr
O’Donnell said yesterday. “It could have been worse. It
didn’t do any damage to the tanks.” Warrnambool CFA
operations officer Henry Barton said the wind directions helped to move the
fire direction away from the tanks. “We were lucky with
the wind,” he said. “Sulphuric acid won’t explode but it
can give off a toxic vapour. “The brigades got here
quickly and had it all confined to the cabin. “We did
have crews for air monitoring but it was all OK. “It’s
fairly typical for it to happen quickly when the fire is in the motor. He’s
very lucky to have had the time to pull up to the side of the road. The
fibreglass, rubber and vinyl burn quickly.” Acting
Sergeant Stephen Clissold, from Terang police, said the incident was called
in at 10.38am. “I’d say the driver was very lucky,” he
said. Acting Sergeant Clissold praised the work of fire crews from Woorndoo,
Noorat, Wooriwyrite, Mortlake and a Warrnambool hazmat unit. “They were here
quickly and brought it under control,” he said.
An industrial worker was
hospitalized today when he dropped sulfuric acid on himself.
The incident was reported at 10:23 a.m. at an industrial building in
the 42000 block of Winchester Road in western Temecula.
An employee at an unnamed business was carrying two glass jars of acid when
he dropped them on the floor, then slipped and fell into the corrosive
liquid, according to Melody Hendrickson of the Riverside County Fire
Department. The acid gave him second-degree burns on 18
percent of his body, mostly on his back and shoulder. He was also badly
burnt on his right hand by the shattered glass, Hendrickson said.
He was airlifted to a burn facility, and the Riverside County Fire
Department's Hazardous Materials Team was cleaning up the mess this
afternoon. Three fire engines, a helicopter and 11
firefighters responded to the incident, according to the fire department.
March 3, 2012 - Temecula, CA — A
worker dropped two glass jars filled with sulfuric acid, which left him
critically injured at a Temecula industrial plant Wednesday morning,
February 29, 2012. The industrial accident occurred just before
10:30 a.m. at Optiforms Inc., at 42310 Winchester Road, reported the
Press-Enterprise. According to reports, the 44-year-old
electroforming manager apparently slipped and dropped the jars filled with
acid. The worker then fell onto the broken glass and acid, leaving him with
a cut to his hand from the glass and second-degree burns from the acid to
over 18 percent of his body, which included his shoulder and back.
But, Cal-OSHA’s findings found that the worker dropped a gallon jar
of acid while transferring it to the cart, before slipping on the acid.
Responding emergency crews airlifted the worker to a burn unit at
Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton for medical treatment.
Officials believe about a gallon of acid was spilled.
The Riverside County Environmental Health Department and the fire
department hazardous materials team responded to the scene.
Investigations into the industrial accident are underway.
A 39-year-old driver narrowly escaped death after the lorry
ladened with industrial chemical landed on its side at Km55.8 Jalan Johor
Baru-Mersing recently. The ill-fated lorry landing on its
side after the driver lost control of the vehicle in Jalan Johor
Baru-MersingJalan Mawai Kota Tinggi. Kota Tinggi district
police chief Supt Che Mahazan Che Aik said the 28-tonne lorry was ferrying
sulphuric acid when the driver lost control and it skidded to the roadside
about 6.20am. He said the driver was heading towards
Pasir Gudang from Kemaman in Terengganu. "He only
sustained minor bruises at the back of his body. A passer-by sent the driver
to the district hospital for outpatient treatment," he said.
Kota Tinggi Fire and Rescue Department chief Mohd Ismail Abdul Latif
said 15 firemen in two fire engines rushed to the scene immediately
after they received a call. "It took us six hours to
remove the lorry using two cranes. "A Hazmat team was
also present to ensure no chemical leakage from the lorry,"
A collision of two 18-wheelers early Tuesday morning killed
both drivers and blocked the intersection of La. Highways 28 and 8 east of
Leesville in Vernon Parish for about 11 hours. Harold C.
Durand, 54, of Pollock and Joseph J. Winford, 29, of DeRidder died in the
wreck, Louisiana State Police Troop E reported. The crash
occurred about 4:10 a.m. Tuesday when Durand, who was driving a 2000
International west on La. 8, ran a stop sign and entered La. 28, where his
vehicle collided with Winford's 2007 Mack truck, police said.
The wreck closed the highways to traffic in that area, and hazmat units from
the Louisiana State Police and Fort Polk responded to scene of the accident.
One of the trucks was carrying molten sulfur, and the other was a log
truck. A police news release didn't specify which one was driven by Durand
and which was driven by Winford. The molten sulfur didn't spill onto the
roadway, authorities said. The highways were reopened to
traffic around 3 p.m. Tuesday. Police said Durand was not
wearing his seat belt. He was taken to Rapides Regional Medical Center in
Alexandria, where he was pronounced dead. Winford was
pronounced dead at the scene. It's unknown if he was wearing his seat belt.
Routine toxicology tests are pending. Tuesday's wreck
was the fourth fatal crash in the State Police Troop E area in January. Six
people died in those accidents.
According to reports, a rail car in
Kansas has spilled 11,000 gallons of sulfuric acid at the Union Pacific rail
yard. This is a site that is nearby Lime Creek. The Kansas Department of
Health and Environment reports the specific area of the spill is from U.S
Highway 56 north to 1000 Avenue. Due to this spill,
residents in this area have been asked to avoid this area for recreation and
drinking purposes. People should keep all livestock and pets from drinking
water in this area as well. Chancy Smith, who is a
Dickinson Country Emergency management director, said that the spill of
hazardous chemicals happened around 5pm on Sunday. Apparently, this happened
after two cars bumped into each other while switching. He went on to say
that the impact caused one rail car to run under the bottom of the second.
Unfortunately, one was carrying the highly corrosive sulfuric acid. From
here, the chemical ran from the damaged rail car and into the ground. After
that it ran across the road and down into Lime Creek.
Smith went on to say that the cold temperatures on Sunday night helped. This
caused little smell from the spill in the area. As most people already know,
sulfuric acid has a very distinctive rotten egg smell to it.
Of course, it was stressed that the residents in Herington are in no
immediate danger following the spill. This is because the rail yard is on
the north side of town, and Lime Creek runs northward out of town. However,
many dead fish have already been seen in Lime Creek in the immediate area of
January 27, 2012 - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment
(KDHE) continues to work with state and local partners to clean up and
monitor the sulfuric acid spill from Union Pacific Railroad’s rail yard
in Herington. “Recent measurements indicate that Lime Creek pH
levels have returned to normal ranges, which is above 6.8 pH,” explained
Jennifer Nichols, Environmental Administrator for KDHE’s North Central
District Office in Salina. “A range of 6.0 to 9.0 means the water is
safe for consumption by animals. It is good to see these results and
we’ll continue to monitor in the coming weeks.” Testing has been
ongoing since the spill on Jan. 8 and Union Pacific Railroad has worked
to finalize the neutralization of the acid from the spill. The limestone
filter dams, which have worked to contain the tainted water, are still
in place and will be removed at a later date. The soil at the rail yard
has also been neutralized and removed by a Union Pacific Railroad
contractor. Another round of verification sampling will be
coordinated between KDHE and Union Pacific Railroad in the coming days.
|December 6, 2011
A Big Rig carrying sulfuric acid overturned on
Highway 198 about 1 1/2 miles east of Parkfield Grade Tuesday morning. The
California Highway Patrol says Highway 198 is scheduled to be closed until
6:00 p.m. from Firestone Avenue in Coalinga to the Monterey/Fresno county
line. CHP is advising drivers to use alternate routes such as Highway
41, Highway 46 or Highway 152.
|December 6, 2011
Several roads around Thatcher were closed for hours Monday morning after a
Bulk Transportation tank trailer intermittently leaked sulfuric acid from
the intersection of Highway 70 and Norton Road to the Freeport McMoRan
Copper & Gold Inc. Safford mine. Graham County Sheriff's Office
deputies were alerted to the problem at about 7:57 a.m. Deputies closed
Norton Road, parts of Reay Lane and Safford/Bryce Road as well as Freeport
McMoRan Road. According to the Material Safety Data Sheet, sulfuric
acid is extremely corrosive and causes serious burns through skin contact.
It is highly toxic, and ingestion can be fatal. Chronic exposure may result
in lung damage and possibly cancer. Bulk Transportation terminal
manager Todd Donham allegedly told a Sheriff's Office Lieutenant that the
truck driver failed to seal the tanker's lid correctly, and acid escaped
every time the truck stopped or turned. Bulk Transportation tried to
bring its HAZMAT team from Tempe, but they could not get through the
mountains east of Superior due to inclement weather and an automobile crash.
A HAZMAT team from FMI joined a crew from Bulk Transportation and the Graham
County Highway Department to spread soda ash on the acid to neutralize it.
The resulting mash was then washed off the pavement, and the roads were
reopened at about 12:30 p.m
||December 6, 2011
||Hukou County, China
About 20 tonnes of concentrated sulphuric
acid leaked from a factory in China that led to billowing acid smoke
over the area, officials said. The incident took place on Monday
in Hukou county of east Jiangxi province. There were, however, no
casualties and no untoward incident, Xinhua reported citing a government
spokesman. The acid leaked at the Jiujiang Tianci New Material
Ltd. in the town's industrial park, he said. The company
implemented emergency measures to collect the acid with help from
firefighters and environment protection departments. Till late
Monday, about 18 tonnes of the acid had been transferred to other tanks
or collected, but smoke still remained over the area.
||December 2, 2011
JFE Holdings Inc., Japan’s second- largest steelmaker,
said its steel mill in Chiba, near Tokyo, is operating normally after four
workers were injured by an explosion at JFE Chemical Co.’s sulfuric acid
tank. The explosion, which occurred within the site of JFE’s
steel works at 9:55 a.m., Japan time, didn’t cause a fire and hasn’t
impacted steel production, spokesman Seiji Iwashita said today by telephone.
JFE is investigating the cause of the accident, he said. JFE Chemical
is a wholly owned unit of JFE
||November 25, 2011
Two people suffered acid burns after
a spill at an oil plant. More than 20 litres of sulphuric
acid were leaked from Malary Environmental Services at Brookfield Business
Centre on Twenty Pence Road in Cottenham. Four fire crews
and a hazardous material unit attended the scene at 12.30am this morning.
Two workers suffered minor acid burns and were decontaminated and
taken to hospital.
Andy Tucker, station commander for Cambridgeshire Fire
and Rescue Service said: "This spill was dealt with quickly and efficiently.
“As soon as the chemical and associated risks were known firefighters
wearing appropriate protective equipment used on site materials to absorb
||November 16, 2011
Five people have been hospitalised after they were sprayed
with sulphuric acid as they walked near Buckingham Palace. The
substance was thought to have dropped from the back of a lorry before mixing
with concrete and being thrown into the air. The incident,
which took place at around 11am outside the Grosvenor Hotel, also forced
local shops to close.
|November 11, 2011
A tanker carrying sulphuric acid overturned
along the Barcem-Paddi route of NH 17 early morning Thursday while
allegedly trying to avoid stray cattle. Fire department
personnel who attended to the incident said the driver sustained
serious injuries and was shifted to the Goa Medical College and
Hopsital, Bambolim, after undergoing preliminary treatment at
Hospicio, Margao. The cleaner too has sustained injuries, officials
|October 25, 2011
Traffic was snarled from Route 20 east in the Route 9 area this morning
after a tanker-truck broke down. The Route 9 westbound ramp to Route
20 east was closed. The interchange is near the new Wegmans supermarket.
Traffic was detoured while the truck's cargo of sulfuric acid was unloaded,
according to authorities. There was no leakage, according to authorities.
October 21, 2011
QR National is investigating a major chemical incident after a train
carrying sulphuric acid derailed at Cloncurry.
Six of 15 bullet wagons loaded with the dangerous chemical derailed at the
Cloncurry station about 5.15pm on Friday.
One is leaning over and will be emptied.
A QR National spokesman said there had been no chemical leak and the
cause of the derailment was still being investigated.
“There is no major issues … this was a low level derailment … we are
working with firies,” the spokesman said.
A Queensland Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said fire crews
would begin decanting the chemical from the wagons once QR National
investigations were complete.
“When that process begins we may have to look at putting in evacuation zones
around the stations in case of a leak, to consider all scenarios,” the
spokeswoman said. “We are
probably looking at three days to get that done because it is a complicated
October 24, 2011 - Emergency
services are in the fourth day of clean up following the derailment of a
train carrying acid near Cloncurry.
QR National train, which had more than 1.5 megalitres of sulphuric acid on
board, jumped the tracks at the Cloncurry railway station late Friday
afternoon, the North West Star reports.
The train's 52 carriages were each holding around 32 000 litres of
acid. According to Queensland
Fire and Rescue Service inspector Ross Mutzelburg no acid was actually
spilled in the incident.
"Thirteen of them are derailed but they're still upright," he told the North
West Star. Around a dozen
firefighters were at the accident site on Sunday to oversee the recovery.
Mutzelburg said it was a dangerous job as the train's carriages were
linked to one another by a network of hoses through which the acid flowed.
"We've got experts here undoing the hoses and pumping the acid out.
They're wearing acid protection suits which get very hot so there's always a
bit of risk to them "It takes
about two hours to disconnect each hose."
He went on to say that every time a hose is disconnected there is a
chance the acid may spill.
However "there's only been about a cup spilled, which isn't bad out of more
than a million litres". There is
no danger to the public, as the train derailed away from the town.
Track repairs will be needed, but disruption to services is expected
to be minimal as the incident occurred in the rail yard, and not the line
According to the CourierMail, the
train came from the Phosphate Hill mine.
the southwestern Chinese province
of Sichuan confirmed on Wednesday
that a road accident had triggered the spillage of 38 tons of concentrated
sulphuric acid into a tributary of the Yangtze River.
The spill happened on Sunday after two vehicles collided on a bridge
where the Chaotian to Guangyuan section of the Guangdong to Shaanxi
national highway crosses the
River, the Southern
Metropolis Daily newspaper reported.
It said the Guangyuan government had dispatched an emergency task
force to handle the pollution in the river.
"After the incident, we reported it and went to the scene to deal
with the problem," an official on the Guangyuan municipal environmental
testing team said on Wednesday.
"After we took samples from the water, they were tested at the municipal
testing station," he said. "There were no abnormalities in the water."
But he added that the water had shown some changes following the
spill. "At the time there
probably was some [acidity] in the water, but after a couple of days, and
once it was cleaned up, then it was fine," he said.
But a professor of environment and resources at
Beijing's University of Technology
told overseas media that the ecological damage from the spill was likely to
be severe, as the acidity in the water would still be above normal levels,
affecting the habitat for most species.
"Aquatic life can't exist under such conditions of acidity," the
professor said. "We can definitely expect that this will cause a high degree
of die-off among aquatic life."
The Guangyuan environmental official said a report had been released, but
that it said the water quality was within the normal range.
Zhejiang-based environmental campaigner Chen Faqing told RFA's Mandarin
service that he had encountered similar situations in his work.
"In situations where there is clearly
pollution, the test results from environmental protection agencies show a
normal reading," he said. "The
environmental agencies alone get to say whether the water quality is good or
bad," he said. Chen said the
authorities usually handled such incidents by partially admitting the truth.
"In cases where it's bad, they will say it's not too bad, and in
cases where it's disastrous, they will admit there are some problems with
water quality," he said. "They
are afraid that if they tell it like it is, they will cause panic in the
local population." Residents of
Guangyuan said in interviews on Wednesday that they hadn't heard anything
about the pollution in the Jialing River, the main water source for many
households. "We didn't know
about this," said one resident. "Maybe they reported it but we didn't know
because we didn't pay attention."
A second resident said he hadn't heard of any problems either.
"I don't know about this," he said. "I didn't pay attention [to the
news] so I didn't hear about this."
Chen said many incidents of pollution, even quite major ones, along with
subsequent protests by local people, go unreported across
He said several thousand people turned out in protest in the eastern
of Zhejiang in June
after cancer rates skyrocketed among residents near a chemical plant in
Deqing county. "Around eight or nine
thousand people blocked the gates of the factory and wouldn't let production
continue," he said. "The police said they were creating a disturbance and
arrested a few people." "The
government sent out work teams door-to-door to all the households in
Zhongguan township to make sure they didn't protest or talk to the media,"
Chen said. "They said they would
close the plant, but the polluted environment is still there."
Last month, China pledged a clampdown on the dumping of toxic
waste following a chromium pollution scandal linked to a river in its
southwestern province of Yunnan which prompted food safety fears in Hong Kong. The
country has been rocked by a series of pollution scandals after years of lax
enforcement of what environmentalists say are, on paper, high environmental
standards. Many of the poisonings
have involved lead and various toxins from chemical and electronics
factories, often affecting the health of local children.
Also last month, fish farmers in the southeastern
of Fujian blocked a major highway
and clashed with police over large-scale pollution of the Min River,
which they said was behind massive die-offs among their stock.
Top environmental officials have warned that the ecology of
China's lakes and rivers has become unbalanced, and
that water resources management in China
faces "major challenges."
Roads were opened and an evacuation order was lifted early Monday after
crews cleaned up a 12-car train derailment in
Burleson County along
36. Joe Faust, a spokesman for
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, said a cause for the derailment has
not been identified but is under investigation.
No one was injured in the accident, which left four cars derailed
upright and eight on their sides, he said. The train had one conductor and
two engineers aboard at the time, according to the sheriff's department.
One of the upright cars was carrying sulfuric acid -- a highly
corrosive and colorless acid -- which is why county officials ordered a
temporary evacuation and closed Texas 36 from 8 p.m. Sunday night until 2
a.m. Monday, Faust said.
The railway bridge over the highway was reopened for service at 1 p.m.,
|October 5, 2011
||Mount Maunganui, New
A truck-trailer unit carrying sulphuric acid had a close call at Mount
Maunganui early this morning when it almost tipped over. Mount Maunganui,
Greerton and Tauranga Fire Brigades responded to the call at Totara Street
around 4.20am, where a truck unit carrying the dangerous chemical was found
balancing on its stays. Mount Maunganui Station Officer Peter Clark
says the trailer could easily have tipped over. “The unit was
partially dislodged. A crane had to be brought in to lift the trailer back
onto another truck.“The driver was driving easily and noticed something
wasn’t quite right. It was lucky it wasn’t more serious.”
||October 3, 2011
WorkSafeNB is investigating an incident at the Irving Oil refinery last week
where some workers were exposed to acid fumes. The incident happened
last Wednesday at the refinery's sulfuric acid regeneration plant, which was
shut down for maintenance. Dino Scichilone, the assistant regional
director for WorkSafeNB, said a vacuum truck was pumping water out of a
concrete pit at about 3 p.m. when some workers in the area smelled some
fumes. Scichilone said the area was evacuated and 35 workers were sent
to the onsite health unit. He said three of them required first aid
treatment, including oxygen. However, none of the workers were treated
in hospital. But Scichilone said it appears some residual acid
fumes escaped from the pump truck's tank. Carolyn Van der Veen, an
Irving Oil Ltd. official, said in an email that two employees in the direct
vicinity of the truck "noticed some discomfort." She said "all
employees have been cleared with no adverse effects reported." Van der
Veen said "mitigation steps have been taken" to avoid another incident but
it's unclear what those include.
|September 27, 2011
Four people were killed and another was injured in a traffic accident that
occurred in Southwest China's Guizhou province on Tuesday, according to
local authorities. The accident took place around 7 am on a highway
linking the cities of Yuping and Tongren. A truck loaded with sulfur dioxide
collided head-on with a motorcycle and subsequently crashed into a nearby
hill, local authorities said. Both of the people riding the
motorcycle, as well as two passengers in the truck, died at the scene. The
collision resulted in a sulfur dioxide spill that is still being cleaned up.
Traffic had yet to be resumed as of 10 am Tuesday. The cause of the accident
is under investigation.
|September 26, 2011
||Texas Department of
Public Safety troopers had to direct interstate traffic after a semi-truck
leaked sulfuric acid Monday. An official with Texas Department of Public
Safety said the spill was on the eastbound side of Interstate 20, on the
overpass above Texas Highway 31. By 9:30 p.m., troopers were still on scene
controlling traffic. Larry Krantz, Texas Department of Transportation
public information officer, said there was no reported damage to the
overpass bridge. While leaking acid "sounds bad," he said it was not
severe, and the spill was quickly cleaned up.
||September 23, 2011
||Residents in south
suburban Dixmoor woke up Friday back at home after a chemical fire forced
them out of the area. A fire in a chemical plant storage tank sent sulfur
dioxide fumes into the air around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Sulfur in the outdoor
tank caught fire at the Rhodia plant, and the fumes were so bad that around
6 p.m., the fire department ordered some residents to leave their homes.
Breathing in sulfur dioxide can cause respiratory problems. The plant,
which makes soaps, detergents and shampoos, employs about 45 people, though
the plant was closed for maintenance when the fire started. A nearby mobile
home park and another business were evacuated as a precaution. The fire
department said those toxic vapors are gone, and neighbors were allowed back
into their homes. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
||September 22, 2011
||A West Australian
chemical plant has been fined $90 000 after four workers were injured in an
acid spill. Millennium Inorganic Chemical’s pleaded guilty to the acid
spill at its Australind chemical plant, with resources safety director
dangerous goods safety Phillip Hine saying that incident was due to
inadequate inspection of the recently replaced sulphuric acid pipe work
system. “A problem was detected with the system that indicated acid was not
flowing into the finishing tanks,” Hine said. “Three staff went to identify
the cause of the problem when a valve failed and sprayed them with
concentrated sulphuric acid.” Millennium is world’s second-largest producer
of titanium dioxide and a leading producer of titanium chemicals. Another
worker sustained injuries when he came to their aid. All four suffered acid
burns, two severely, one of whom later had to have a leg amputated. “The
investigation by the department found that the valve that failed was from
the old pipe work system and was designed to carry 40 percent sulphuric
acid,” Hine said. “The valve was exposed to 98 percent sulphuric acid for
an extended period of time. This resulted in the valve diaphragm dissolving
and the failure of the valve.” Millennium’s inspection of the valve failed
to notice that it had not been replaced. Hines stated that the accident
could have been avoided if proper safety measures were in place.
Millennium is the world’s second-largest producer of titanium dioxide and a
leading producer of titanium chemicals.
||September 20, 2011
Fifty-six-year-old Nick Ciffolilli and three other employees suffered
serious burns after a sulphuric acid pipe burst in February last year.
The company was fined $90,000 in Perth Magistrate’s Court last week after
pleading guilty to charges related to the acid spill. Mr Ciffolili
said he had no hard feelings against the company where he has been employed
for 32 years. “I am most certainly happy to be back at work,” he said.
Mr Ciffolilli returned to work as a shift supervisor with the company last
April. He was given time off to rehabilitate and was transported
to Perth for treatment. The Department of Mines and Petroleum
investigated the incident and safety director Philip Hine said it could have
been prevented if adequate safety measures were in place. Mr
Hine said the incident was the result of inadequate inspection of the
recently replaced sulphuric acid pipe work system. “This decision
sends an important message to employers about their obligation to thoroughly
inspect all systems of work to ensure safety, particularly when making
changes,” Mr Hine said. “A problem was detected with the system that
indicated acid was not flowing into the finishing tanks. “Three
staff went to identify the cause of the problem when a valve failed and
sprayed them with concentrated sulphuric acid.” Two employees were
severely burned and one had to have a leg amputated. Mr Hine said the
department investigation showed the valve that failed was designed to carry
40 per cent sulphuric acid but it was exposed to 98 per cent. An
inspection by the company failed to identify that the valve had not been
replaced. Company site director Simon Morten said the company had
upgraded its maintenance and auditing functions. “Three of the workers
have returned to work and the company continues to support all of them in
their rehabilitation,” Mr Morten said. He said the court had
acknowledged the company’s exemplary safety record and that it had done
everything reasonably expected in response to the incident.
|September 16, 2011
Wednesday night between a semi truck hauling molten sulphur and a pickup
truck resulted in a hazmat situation and the closure of Safford/Bryce Road
for nearly 13 hours. According to a press release from the Graham County
Sheriff's Office, the County Dispatch received a call regarding the
collision at about 6:21 p.m. The incident occurred as both vehicles were
westbound on Safford/Bryce Road just west of Branding Iron Road. According
to Sheriff P.J. Allred, the driver of the semi truck, Dwayne Elders of
Thatcher, was attempting to pass the pickup truck when the collision
occurred. Apparently, the driver of the pickup truck, Dana Carrasco of
Safford, attempted to make a left turn into a private driveway when she was
sideswiped by the semi. The semi rolled onto its side and stretched across
both lanes of the road. Allred told the Courier that Elders said the pickup
truck didn't have its turn signal on, but Carrasco insisted that she did.
Elders was transported to the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center by
Southwest Ambulance where he was treated and released. He suffered a head
laceration and fractured collar and rib bones, according to Allred.
Carrasco had her 4-year-old daughter with her in a child safety car seat,
and neither was injured. Molten sulphur began leaking out of the top cap of
the transport tanker but was quickly contained and handled by the Safford
Fire Department. Hazmat teams from the Department of Public Safety traveled
from Globe and Tucson and assisted with the leak as well. According to the
United States government Material Safety Data Sheet, molten sulphur gives
off an odor of rotten eggs and is flammable. It can cause eye and skin
irritation and should only be used with adequate ventilation. Safford
Assistant Fire Chief Tony Goodman told the Courier that the biggest issue
with dealing with the molten sulphur was that it was hot. He said the
department sprayed down the leak with water to cool it. Once it was cooled,
the molten sulphur solidified. Members of the Fire Department worked the
scene until 4 a.m. to keep the molten sulphur contained. "The only hazard
is that it's hot. As soon as it hits air, it cools down and solidifies
pretty quickly . . ." Goodman said. Representatives from Freeport McMoRan
Copper & Gold Inc. and Savage Trucking also assisted with the crash
recovery. The semi is registered to Savage Trucking and was transporting
molten sulphur to Freeport's Safford Operations copper mine. Freeport
representatives brought a crane to assist with the removal of the semi. Tow
trucks from Barnett Towing from Willcox and Tucson were also used to set the
semi upright and remove it from the road. Personnel from the Graham County
Highway Division were also on hand to assist with the cleanup and fix damage
to the road. The road remained closed from Landfill Road to the Talley wash
until about 7 a.m. on Thursday. According to the Sheriff's Office, the
cause of the crash is yet to be determined and is under investigation with
assistance from a Graham County Attorney's office crash reconstructionist.
||August 29, 2011
Claiming he was doused with liquid sulphur while working at a Texas City
plant last month, Santa Fe resident Alan Snyder has filed a lawsuit against
his employer. Snyder's suit against Gulf Sulphur Services
alleges a supervisor ignored the his pleas to shut down a malfunctioning
unit at the facility. According to the original complaint filed Aug. 22 in
Galveston County District Court, Snyder was doused with chemicals when the
unit spewed its contents. The plant's owner and operator, Savage
Services Corp., is not a defendant in the case. Snyder, an independent
contractor, was in the midst of his sixth day working at the premises on
July 8 when the incident occurred. According to the suit, "It was
apparently common knowledge that many of the plant units that handled liquid
sulphur had been out of service, and the plaintiff became concerned when the
unit on which he was working was not operating properly." The
plaintiff claims he tried to address the concern only to be told to continue
working. "Suddenly and without warning, liquid sulphur sprayed from
the unit and splashed onto the plaintiff's face, arms, body and leg," the
suit states. Snyder claims his skin continued to burn as he
sought relief, and he had to be sent to the University of Texas Medical
Branch in Galveston for treatment. Consequently, the plaintiff seeks
unspecified monetary damages. He is represented by Abraham, Watkins,
Nichols Sorrels, Agosto & Friend. The case has been assigned to
Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss. Case No.
||August 16, 2011
A man has suffered acid burns in an incident at a sugar factory in Norfolk.
East Anglian Air Ambulance said it was called to the Wissington plant, near
Downham Market,on Tuesday morning. The man in his 40s suffered
sulphuric acid burns to his neck, chest and hands, it added. He was taken to
the Broomfield Hospital in Essex. Paramedic Jemma Varela said
the situation would have been far worse had the man not been wearing
|August 2, 2011
Police shut down part of I-70 in Hancock County on Monday after they stopped
a semi that was leaking sulfuric acid. The right lane of
eastbound I-70 and the Ind. 9 exit ramp were closed after officers stopped
the truck about 4:40 p.m., Indiana State Police said. Hazardous
material crews were on the scene. The left lane remained open, but police
said traffic may be stopped while the cleanup continues. Westbound
traffic was not affected.
||July 28, 2011
firefighters responded after a 1,400-pound load of sulfur dumped at the San
Bernardino County landfill caught fire Thursday afternoon. Firefighters
received the call of a refuse fire at the landfill, off San Timoteo Canyon
Road, at about 12:30 p.m. When they arrived and discovered the source of the
fire additional resources were called in. Two engines, a water tender and a
medic engine responded with a total of 13 fire personnel. Two landfill
employees were treated for smoke inhalation. The sulfur, once a common
agricultural product, was inadvertently dumped at the landfill following
cleanup at an old farmhouse. The chemical can become highly flammable when
dust particles meet the air. The combustion occurred when equipment at the
landfill moved the pile of sulfur. The Fire Department contacted county
water and regulatory agencies and determined that the chemical would be safe
on site once it is covered. Fire personnel remained on site to extinguish
the fire, water down the sulfur and ensure that the chemical was
|July 28, 2011
firefighters have reportedly cleared the scene after a sulfuric acid leak
Thursday morning. The Buncombe County Emergency Operations Center reports
the leak happened at 8:28 a.m. at 56 Truckers Place. Asheville City Fire
Station 2 was called to the scene. A trucker with Conway Trucking told
crews that one of the 55 gallon drums within the truck was leaking sulfuric
acid. AFD Haz-Mat crew members found a pencil width size hole on the bottom
of the barrel and stopped the leak by tipping the barrel on its side and
rotating it so that the hole was located at the top. A sample of the
product was tested by the Haz-Mat unit on scene and was confirmed to be
sulfuric acid. Neo Corporation, a local chemical spill clean up company, is
cleaning up the scene now. There are no reported injuries.
|July 20, 2011
Freeport-McMoRan Morenci Inc. has agreed to a $150,000 settlement for
releasing 168,000 gallons of sulfuric acid and heavy metals from a pipeline
into Lower Chase Creek, a tributary of the San Francisco River. This is
according to a statement released last week by the Arizona Department of
Environmental Quality and the Arizona General’s Office. According
to the AQEQ Freeport-McMoRan will pay a $75,000 penalty and complete a
supplemental environmental project valued at $75,000 as part of a consent
judgment in Maricopa County Superior Court for water quality violations
caused by the Oct. 30, 2008, spill from its Morenci copper mine in Greenlee
|July 15, 2011
West bound I-44 was closed for most of Friday night while a Hazmat team
cleaned up an acid spill in the Sullivan area. A truck carrying
sulfuric acid was leaking and pulled over by Sullivan police. One
officer suffered breathing problems and was taken to a hospital, but police
tell KMOX he has been taken off of a breathing apparatus and is doing well.
|June 24, 2011
||RCMP blocked traffic
along Highway 881 outside of Fort McMurray Thursday afternoon as a result of
a six-car train derailment, near mile marker 268 roughly eight kilometres
from Anzac. The derailment occurred around 12:30 p.m. on a southbound CN
train. CN officials responded immediately and the cause of the derailment is
under investigation. No injuries were reported in the derailment. The cars
were carrying sulfur, some of which leaked at the scene, but a CN
representative says they aren't aware of immediate risk to the public. In
addition to CN, regional emergency services responded on scene, as did a
helicopter from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, and
representatives from Alberta Environment.
|June 21, 2011
A sulfuric acid leak leads to evacuations at a plant in Oakley. Fire crews
were called to Cast-Fab Technologies on Forrer Street just before seven
Monday evening. Investigators say an employee was working on a 5,000 gallon
tank that holds sulfuric acid when a pipe broke. Firefighters had to
put on protective suits to go into the building. District Fire Chief Anson
Turley described the scene this way,"By the time they got in level A and got
into the building they had the leak plugged within 7 minutes. About 1,000
gallons of acid did leak out before we could complete the process."
Power was shut off to the building because sulfuric acid is flammable.
Hazardous materials crews were able to patch the leak. It is up to the
company to complete the cleanup process. Workers do metal casting and
fabrication at the plant.
|June 9, 2010
||Black River Falls,
Cleanup crews will be back on the scene this morning after a semi crash led
to a sulfuric acid leak Wednesday afternoon in Jackson County.
According to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, a semi hauling
containers of sulfuric acid and caustic soda crashed shortly before 4 p.m.
on Hwy. 121 near NW Burnette Road in the town of Garden Valley. Units
from the Alma Center Fire Department, Alma Center First Responders, Black
River Falls Fire Department and EMS, Jackson County Sheriff's Department and
Wisconsin State Patrol responded to the scene along with Jackson County and
Eau Claire hazmat teams. The driver of the semi was transported to
Black River Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and released.
Hwy. 121 was closed to traffic until approximately 1:40 a.m. today as the
scene was cleaned up and the semi removed. With cleanup crews
returning today, any unnecessary travel in the area is discouraged,
according to the sheriff's department.
|June 4, 2011
||Traffic was blocked
off on Interstate 49 between Alexandria and the Woodworth exit Friday
following a traffic accident in which an 18-wheeler carrying sulfuric acid
overturned. State Police Troop E responded to the accident, which occurred
about 11 a.m. Friday north of the Woodworth exit. The northbound and
southbound lanes on I-49 were closed for hours after the accident, the
Louisiana Traffic Management Center reported. Traffic was diverted onto
U.S. Highways 71 and 165.
||May 31, 2011
||Belle, West Virginia
Two workers at the DuPont Co. plant in Belle were transported to a hospital
Tuesday after sulfuric acid sprayed from a hose during the demolition of the
facility's sulfuric acid production unit, officials said. DuPont
spokesman Nate Pepper said the incident occurred at about 1:12 p.m., while
contractors working for DuPont were using a hose to transfer material from a
tank into a pump truck came out of the tank. "The two
contractors were showered and transported by ambulance to the hospital,"
Pepper said in a prepared statement. "One employee was transported for
treatment and the other transported for precautionary purposes."
Tuesday's incident occurred as Kanawha Valley residents wait for the U.S.
Chemical Safety Board to release a report it has completed on a series of
leaks at the Belle plant in January 2010, including a phosgene release that
killed longtime plant employee Danny Fish. CSB investigators have
completed a draft of the report, and DuPont has been allowed to review a
copy of the report. But so far, board members have not agreed on a plan for
releasing the document to the public. C.W. Sigman, deputy emergency
services director for Kanawha County, said emergency officials were told a
hose came loose and acid was released while contractors were working to tear
down the acid-production unit. DuPont officials called Kanawha
County's Metro 911 office at 1:12 p.m., saying that two males had been
exposed to some sort of toxic material. The company did not initially report
the material involved, but asked for medical assistance, officials said.
Six minutes later, at 1:18 p.m., DuPont called Metro 911 again to report
that the workers were being treated in decontamination showers.
|May 30, 2011
responded to the municipal sewage plant Monday night after a water pipe
broke, causing another pipe and valve to fail spraying sulfur dioxide inside
a secured room on the site, according to the fire marshal. Firefighters
initially responded around 8:30 p.m. on Monday after an alarm was tripped by
a broken pipe spraying water inside a containment room at the sewage plant
which lead to a pipe containing the sulfur dioxide to break and contaminate
the room, Fire Marshal Dennis Symons said. The Monmouth County HazMat team
responded and the situation was under control and cleared by about 12:30 a.m
Tuesday morning, Symons said. No injuries were reported, and there was no
danger to the public, Symons said. Allentown, Groveville and Robbinsville
fire companies responded to the scene.
|May 20, 2011
Mississippi River traffic is shut down for a five-mile stretch in Baton
Rouge after four barges came loose Friday afternoon, with one of them
striking another barge and the other three sinking. The Coast Guard
has halted traffic until they can locate the sunken barges and make sure
navigation is safe. A 195-foot vessel, the Crimson Gem, lost four of
its 20 barges, all of which were carrying grain. One of them struck another
barge that was moored at a dock near the US 190 bridge. That barge was
holding sulfuric acid. Officials said there were no injuries and that
none of the chemicals spilled. “We did thorough checks on the void
spaces to insure that either water or sulfuric acid was not being
accumulated,” said Tom Dodds, the operations manager of Rhodia Plant. “We’ve
done all the checks and we had the Coast Guard double check to make sure
there was no leakage.” The biggest concern now stems from the three
other barges that got loose and sank. “The river will remain closed
until the location of all the barges have been confirmed and a safe,
navigable waterway has been established,” said Lt. Commander Quincy Davis of
the Coast Guard. It’s the second time in a week that barges have
gotten loose near the 190 bridge. The area has been tagged as a high risk
area for navigation, and historic river conditions have forced heightened
restrictions. Commander Davis said with the investigation in its early
stages, the Coast Guard isn’t sure if any of the heightened restrictions
were not followed.
|April 27, 2011
A hazardous material team was called to the GenOn power plant in Alexandria
Wednesday morning. Fire officials said that a 5,000 gallon tank
of sulfuric acid had sprung a leak. The acid spilled out into a
collection pan directly below the tank, so that the spill was contained.
In total, 1,300 gallons of acid ran out of the tank into the pan.
Alexandria fire officials said that the leak posed no threat to the public,
because the acid was not fuming into the air. Streets surrounding the
plant, located on the Potomac River, had initially been closed, but by
sunrise all roads were reopened. According to the plant, the
acid tank is used to recycle waste produced by the coal-burning power
generating facility. A private contractor was on the way Wednesday
morning to collect the spilled acid.
|April 23, 2011
Numerous area fire companies spent more than 12 hours on the scene of a
hazardous material spill on the campus of Universal Concrete Saturday after
crews initially responding to a fire learned a bin containing a sulfuric
acid mixture melted and leaked. According to township Fire Marshal
David B. Matyasovsky, the 200 gallons in the bin was 30 percent sulfuric
acid diluted, however, it spilled over a 60-by-60-foot area inside Inno Chem
Inc., in the 400 block of Old Reading Pike. “It’s watered down,”
Matyasovsky said of the sulfuric acid mixture. He explained that the
leak occurred after a fire broke out in a piece of equipment inside Inno
Chem Inc., where metal is processed to separate the salvageable metal from
scrap. The fire melted a container in which the sulfuric acid mixture was
stored, and the mixture leaked. Although the mixture was diluted,
Matyasovsky said precautions were taken and Montgomery County Hazmat was
called in. Matyasovsky said no injuries had been reported among
any of the responders Saturday, however, some of the equipment brought in by
the responding crews was damaged. “Anything that (the acid
mixture) touches, you throw away, and the fire companies lost a lot of
equipment,” Matyasovsky said. “All their turnout gear, the hoses ... I know
West End (Fire Company of Stowe) lost at least five sets of new gear.”
|March 27, 2010
||Port Hope, Ontario
Sunday's train derailment east of Port Hope, Ont., could have unleashed a
"perfect storm" due to the hazardous materials being transported, a
firefighter said. The 12:15 p.m. derailment just east of Port Hope,
109 kilometres east of Toronto, sparked an evacuation order that affected
about two dozen homes in a rural area. Train cars involved in the derailment
include one containing propane, two with aviation fuel, one carrying
residual sulphuric acid and two with residual petroleum. As well, a natural
gas line was reportedly ruptured. At least one tanker could be seen
burning approximately a half-kilometre away and sparked a grass fire.
Flames were still coming from the area late Sunday. Port Hope
Police Const. John Oosterhof was one of the first on the scene.
"There were flames and smoke visible from the wreckage and tanker cars were
stacked up like Lincoln logs," he said. Police from Cobourg, Ont.,
Port Hope and Northumberland OPP immediately tried to keep people away from
the area and shut down the highway. "It was difficult getting the
message across to people they were in the blast area should one or more of
those tanks explode," Oosterhof said. Provincial police officers
from Peterborough, Whitby also responded, as did investigators from CN Rail,
CN Hazmat (hazardous materials) Team, the ministry of environment, the
provincial police aviation Unit and members of the forensic identification
unit. Ontario fire departments from Baltimore, Harwood, Bewdley, Port
Hope and Cobourg were involved in the emergency along with numerous
paramedics. Emergency Management Ontario recommended evacuated
residents quickly select basic clothing, medication, toiletry supplies, pets
and other essentials for several days' absence. Oosterhof said
arriving on the scene was "quite startling." "I know if I can
see it I'm too close and being within a few hundred metres of it was pretty
scary," he said. At the time of the derailment, people had been
working in the field near a backhoe just metres away from where the wreckage
The red alert issued Sunday afternoon by
Emergency Management Ontario due to the train derailment and fire in
Hamilton Township, near Port Hope, has now ended. An 800-metre
evacuation zone remains in place around the site. Highway 2 is
closed between Hamilton Road and Augustine Road and motorists are asked to
avoid the area due to a large number of emergency vehicles in the vicinity.
Emergency responders are on scene and clean-up efforts are expected to
continue into Monday. Emergency Management Ontario, the Ontario
Provincial Police and the Ministry of the Environment are in the area and
are assisting with the response.
|March 24, 2011
Investigations are being carried out into a sulphuric acid spill at Rio
Tinto’s Yarwun alumina refinery. According to the Gladstone Observer,
the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) is
taking action after a reported spill of 25 000 litres of sulphuric acid from
the refinery on Sunday. The acid spill occurred during heavy rain,
with most of it washed into the on-site storm water catchment system and
into Boat Creek. To date, DERM has found no evidence of environmental
damage caused by the spill. Rain and high tides have apparently
diluted the acid. According to Rio Tinto’s early investigation,
only 3000 litres of acid was spilled into the process area. “The vast
majority of this was contained on site and only a small amount of sulphuric
acid and sea water mix was released into the creek,” a Rio Tinto
spokesperson told the Observer. A faulty drain valve believed to be
the cause of the spill was immediately removed and will remain out of
operation until investigations have finished.
|March 23, 2011
Several businesses and homes were temporarily evacuated in Slaton on
Wednesday because of a chemical spill at the Slaton Rail Park. The
regional hazmat crew was called out around 3:15 p.m. after a bystander saw a
rail car leaking a fluid, which crews identified as sulfuric acid.
Slaton Fire Department and Police also responded to the spill where rail
road authorities estimate about 50 gallons of sulfuric acid leaked. The rail
car is capable of carrying 90,000 pounds, but hazmat crews quickly contained
the leak and residents were allowed back in the their homes. Rail road
hazmat crews from Amarillo also inspected the leak and are taking any
necessary precautions to fix the rail car or tracks. Slaton Fire Chief
Freddie Rainwater says the leak could have been caused by a pop-off valve
getting too hot with pressure expanding the valve. This acid is found
in car batteries as well as oil refining and waste water processing, but can
cause lung damage if inhaled and can burn the eyes and skin.
|March 22, 2011
||Hazmat crews were
called to control a sulfuric acid leak at an ethanol plant in Stockton
Tuesday afternoon. Just after Noon, the Pacific Ethanol plant called
emergency crews about the leak of the highly flammable acid. The leak was
from a joint on a 5,000-gallon tank at the Stockton plant along Navy Drive.
Pacific Ethanol was not evacuated, but workers are being kept away from the
area of the leak. A police training facility is nearby, they stopped their
exercises for safety reasons. The crews were able to slow the leak, not
completely stop it. But the leaking acid is being contained, and is not a
risk at this time. According to Pacific Ethanol's website, they operate
four production facilities in California, Oregon and Idaho; combined they
produce 200 million gallons per year.
||March 1, 2011
||A hazmat crew was
called to an Essex community college after someone was injured after
spilling sulfuric acid Tuesday afternoon.
Fire crews were called to the Community College of Baltimore
County, Essex campus at 5 p.m. after getting reports of the spill.
Baltimore County Fire Department spokeswoman Elise Armacost said a
person was taken to Bayview Hospital after spilling the acid.
Armacost didn't say how the spill happened but said the person used
a shower at the school before crews got there.
Sky Team 11 Capt. Roy Taylor reported that the person was a woman. He said
she burned her feet and hands in the incident; however, there's no word on
the extent of her injuries. The
|February 26, 2011
||Co Clare, Ireland
Workers had to be evacuated from a factory in Co Clare early yesterday after
250 litres of sulphuric acid were accidentally spilled inside the plant.
The alarm was raised at about 6.30am when staff reported the spill in a
storage area at the rear of an Essilor Ireland plant on the outskirts of
Ennis. The company, known as Organic Lens Manufacturing, produces
ophthalmic corrective lenses and is located in the Gort Road industrial
estate where it employs more than 300 workers. About 50 staff were
working at the time and they were quickly evacuated to emergency meeting
points outside the plant where management carried out a roll call to ensure
that everyone was accounted for. The company’s emergency response team was
deployed pending arrival of the emergency services. Within
minutes, gardaí and four units of the fire brigade from Ennis arrived at the
scene, while medical emergency services were also alerted. No medical
assistance was required and ambulances were stood down. No one was injured
or affected by the fumes. The company notified the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) of the incident and an inspector from the authority
arrived at the scene at about 10.30am where she met fire officers and
received a briefing about the spillage. It is understood that two
drums containing sulphuric acid fell from a pallet while they were being
moved within the plant. One of the 250-litre drums was full and burst open
after hitting the ground. Assistant chief fire officer for Co
Clare Denis O’Connell said: “On arrival at the site, the factory had been
evacuated and the Essilor emergency response team had already been deployed.
It was a relatively small spillage but due to the nature of the substance,
sulphuric acid, all chemical procedures were put in place and all
firefighters wore full chemical suits before entering the building.
“There was a risk area established in the vicinity of the spill and so the
only people allowed inside that area were emergency services.” The EPA
said: “The incident involved a spill of 98 per cent sulphuric acid within a
building at the facility. “An EPA inspector has visited the site to
assess the situation and has liaised with the environmental manager on-site,
and the fire service. The EPA inspector has verified that the spillage was
contained within a building at the facility. “The EPA considers that
the spillage has been contained with no resulting off-site impact of
environmental significance,” the agency added.
|February 23, 2011
The gas emitted from a leakage in a tanker carrying sulphuric acid led to
the death of a 22-year-old woman in Jajmau area on Tuesday evening. The
woman, Shabina alias Shabbu, was found dead in the bathroom of her house,
which was near the spot of the mishap. Three other residents —
Ruksana, Salim and Gafoor — who fell unconscious were rushed to Nasir
Hospital. They are reportedly stable now. To minimize the impact of
the leakage, water was sprayed on the spillage and Kanpur Nagar Nigam teams
sprinkled lime-salt in the area. Additional District Magistrate (City)
Shailendra Kumar Singh, said: “After the tanker carrying sulphuric acid
broke down near Siddhnath Ghat of Jajmau, a crane was called to shift it to
one side of the road. However, a part of the tanker got damaged and the acid
fell on the road and trickled into the nearby sewer line connecting several
houses of the vicinity.” Singh said the gas emitted by sulphuric acid
suffocated Shabina and she died inside the bathroom. An ex-gratia would be
given to the family members of Shabina, he said. Additional SP
(Kanpur) Kush Har Saurabh said: “It appears the sulphuric acid was being
taken to one of the leather units of Jajmau area.” Shabina’s brother
Arshad said while other family members rushed out when gas entered the house
through sewer line, her sister who had gone to the bathroom to wash clothes
A day after 40,000 litres
of sulphuric acid spilled from a tanker onto the road in Dada Miyan Ki Mazar
locality in Jajmau area, the local residents still complained of
breathlessness and bouts of vomiting on Wednesday. It may be mentioned here
that a 20-year-old girl, Shabeena, had died in the incident and several
others got fainted on Tuesday evening. People said they were facing
problems in breathing due to fumes emanating from the spilled acid.
Several people, including housewives and elderly persons, visited hospital
for treatment on Wednesday. Some of the affected persons - Zafar,
Yaseen Ahmed, Yasmin Fatima and Israr Husain - were discharged after
treatment. Presently, six persons are still undergoing treatment for
respiratory problems, said Dr Nasir who was attending to patients at a
nearby private nursing home. "As patients inhaled the acid fumes, they
developed breathlessness and are facing burning sensation in eyes, on face
and hands," said another doctor. ADM (city) Shailendra Singh had
visited the affected area on Tuesday late night. He said that a probe
would be conducted in the acid spill incident. Deceased
Shabeena, daughter of Mubeen Ahmed, had got recently engaged and was to get
married in two months, said the kin of the victim while recounting the
incident. "My daughter was busy doing household chores. All of a
sudden, she started coughing. We opened our window only to see locals
running all around, gasping for breath," said Mubeen, the father of
Shabeena. He added, "There was no time to think. We ran out of the
house but my daughter collapsed. The scene in the entire locality was
chaotic. Even walking four steps left us breathless and we got bouts of
The district administration on Wednesday provided Rs 20,000 as immediate
compensation to the family of the girl, Shabeena, who had died after
inhaling sulphuric acid vapours on Tuesday in the city. Additional
district magistrate (city) Shailendra Kumar Singh said, "The district
administration has provided immediate monetary compensation to Shabeena's
family. The district officials have written a letter to the state government
for providing more monetary help." He added that a monetary
compensation would also be demanded from the owner of the tanker from which
the acid had leaked. The three persons who fell ill after the incident have
been discharged from the hospital, he said. The mishap occurred
on Tuesday when acid leaking from a stationary tanker mixed with the
discharge flowing in a nearby drain. The vapours which spread through
the toilets in the locality diffused into the air and residents rushed out
of their houses due to strong foul odour with many complaining dizziness and
nausea. Shabeena died and three others fell ill after inhaling the
poisonous vapours. The police have been deployed in Chakeri to control any
untoward incident after locals created a furore after the incident, said SP
(city) Kushar Saurabh. The driver and the cleaner of the tanker are
absconding and a search is on to catch them, he added.
|February 22, 2011
||One man was injured
when a railroad tank car released sulfuric acid today, authorities said.
Amarillo firefighters treated the unidentified railroad employee at 1900 S.
Johnson St. after vapors escaped the tank about 9:35 a.m., said Fire Capt.
Wes Hall. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway spokesman Joe Faust said the
victim appeared uninjured initially, but began to experience symptoms that
concerned supervisors. Faust said the vapors appeared to escape because the
tank was overfilled. The tank was in the railroad’s yard, Faust said.
Firefighters did not have to decontaminate the victim, Hall said. An
ambulance transported the victim to the hospital. Hall said a Burlington
Northern Santa Fe Railway haz-mat team was on the scene. Four Amarillo
firefighters responded to the incident.
|February 20, 2011
railroad workers who were seriously injured Sunday trying to contain a rail
car chemical leak in Roanoke were not wearing protective equipment, a
Norfolk Southern Corp. spokesman said. A rail car carrying molten sulfur
was on a repair track near Shaffers Crossing when employees noticed a
sulfurous odor coming from the car, said Robin Chapman, spokesman for the
Norfolk-based freight railroad. The employees discovered a gasket in the
tanker dome was leaking and called W.E.L. Inc., an environmental cleanup
company based in Concord, Chapman said. Two contract workers were overcome
by fumes when they removed the dome, Chapman said. They were taken to
Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where they were in serious but stable
condition, Chapman said. A Norfolk Southern employee was taken to the
hospital and later released, Chapman said. Names of the injured men were
unavailable Monday. Roanoke Fire Chief David Hoback said Sunday the W.E.L.
workers suffered chemical burns and respiratory injuries. A phone message
left at W.E.L.'s Roanoke office was not returned Monday. W.E.L.'s website
says it "provides environmental and safety training to all employees which
meets or exceeds all federal, state, or local requirements." The Virginia
Department of Labor and Industry, which investigates workplace injuries, was
closed for Monday's holiday. It was unclear whether it would investigate.
The leak prompted emergency crews to evacuate homes and businesses within a
half-mile of the leak. The scene was cleared in four hours. Molten sulfur
is used to make sulfuric acid and to bleach wood pulp for paper
manufacturing. The rail car carrying the chemical originated in Canada and
was destined for Charleston, Tenn., Chapman said.
|February 15, 2011
At least 10 Metropolitan Fire Brigade units were called to contain a
chemical spill at a North Sunshine industrial site last Friday. The
units were called to Air Liquide's Bunnett Street site at 8.56am to deal
with sulphur dioxide spilling from a 15-tonne tank. An MFB spokesman said
the spill was brought under control within two hours. "A sulphur dioxide
spill on a wet day is taken very seriously indeed," he said. Inhaling
sulphur dioxide has been associated with increased respiratory symptoms and
disease, breathing difficulty and, in extreme cases, death. Hazmat
units attended and air quality was tested to ensure employees and
surrounding businesses and residents were safe. "We don't believe it was a
major airborne hazard that required a mass evacuation," the spokesman said.
The remaining sulphur dioxide was transferred to another tank. No injuries
were reported. Air Liquide did not reply before the Weekly went to print.
|January 24, 2011
Emergency crews showed up at a chemical spill in the Manly area late this
morning. The Worth County sheriff says they learned a train car was
spilling sulfuric acid around 11. He says some of the chemical
did get on the ground. He didn't know how much spilled, though he said
it was a smaller amount. They did bring in hazmat to check things out.
“It's not a huge concern at this point in time, we do have hazmat that's up
here that's checking it out and that and they're getting it taken care of,”
said Sheriff Jay Langenbau. “We don't have to evacuate anybody at this time
or anything, it's not that big of a problem at this point in time.”
|January 13, 2011
A large 100 meter-long barge carrying sulphuric acid capsized and went
adrift on the Rhine. The accident occurred this morning near the legendary
Loreley Rock in the vicinity of the town of St. Goarshausen when, due to
unknown causes, the large barge carrying 2400 tons of sulphuric acid
capsized. Two of the four crew members have been rescued while there is an
ongoing "feverish" search for the other missing crew members with the help
of a helicopter. The ship was traveling from the chemical company
BASF, Ludwigshafen in southern Germany to Antwerp, Belgium. Local
authorities said they did not know what caused the tanker to capsize. With
the water temperature hovering around 4 degrees Celsius (39 degress
Fahrenheit), the missing men could not be expected to survive long, they
said. The two rescued crew members were brought to a nearby hospital and
were in good condition, local authorities said. There were no
indications that the ship was leaking, and testing on the Rhine downstream
showed no abnormalities, The spokesman added that the vessel appeared
to be double-hulled, meaning there stood a good chance the acid would not
leak into the river. Sulfuric acid, when mixed with water, can become highly
January 21, 2011 - The river Rhine in central Germany
has been partially reopened to shipping after being blocked by a capsized
tanker loaded with sulphuric acid, the German inland navigation authority
said on Thursday. A vessel carrying 2,400 tonnes of acid capsized on
Jan. 13 at Loreley near Wiesbaden blocking shipping since. The
river has now been opened to southbound sailings by vessels of up to 135
metres in length following test sailings past the capsized ship, a
navigation authority spokesman said. About 20 vessels have now
been able to sail past the capsized tanker and about 200 ships are waiting
to pass, he said. It was not known when northbound sailings could
start, he said. Cranes have now arrived and salvage work is getting
underway, while no significant volumes of cargo have escaped from the ship,
he said. The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities
including grain, minerals, coal and oil products including heating oil. It
is also a major route for Switzerland's commodity imports. The
ship was carrying acid for German chemical company BASF from its works in
Ludwigshafen in Germany to the Belgian port of Antwerp. BASF said on
Thursday it was experiencing difficulties with raw material supplies
following the tanker accident.
27, 2011 - St. Goarshausen, Germany - Highly flammable hydrogen
showed up Thursday in a sunken barge in Germany's Rhine gorge, causing a new
hitch in plans to reopen Europe's biggest inland waterway. Some
300 barges were stuck upstream from the site of the January 13 capsizing.
Marine officials said hydrogen showed up in the seventh tank of the barge,
which is loaded with sulphuric acid. Rescuers were pumping
nitrogen into the tank to render the hydrogen harmless. Road,
rail and water traffic through the gorge was stopped this week for fear that
the Waldhof barge may blow up, either through the hydrogen igniting or its
sulphuric acid reacting with the water. Main north-south rail lines
and highways run through the gorge, which cuts through rugged hills. Five
nations depend on Rhine shipping to deliver loads from Europe's biggest
seaport, Rotterdam. Two empty barges are standing by for the next
salvage phase, pumping out the cargo of the Waldhof, which is being held in
place by floating cranes and cables. Once safe, the barge will be raised and
taken away. Waiting ships were allowed to travel upstream past
the wreck earlier this week, but authorities then ruled it was too dangerous
as the ships might slam into the hulk. Two of the four crew were
still missing after the sinking.
February 7, 2011 - Some 80
tonnes sulphuric acid per hour will be removed from the ship in order to
lessen stress to its hull, members of the salvage team told a press
conference in St. Goarshausen in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
"In the worst-case scenario 1,000 tonnes of acid will have to be directed
into the Rhine," a spokesman said, adding the ship had taken a "slight
banana shape" after 240 tonnes were pumped into another tanker. A
laboratory vessel will supervise the pumping operation to make certain the
concentration does not exceed twelve litres of acid for every 1.6 million
litres of river water per second. Experts expect the environmental impact to
be minimal. The wreck of the “Waldhof,” which continues to hinder
traffic on one of Europe’s most important waterways, has already leaked some
900 tonnes of acid since tipping over near the fabled
Loreley rocky point on January 13, officials said. Some of remaining
toxic liquid will be pumped into another ship with stainless steel tanks on
Tuesday. The massive backlog of ships waylaid by the accident is
slowly starting to ease – though some 300 vessels are still unable to
proceed down the Rhine. On Monday, the first multi-ship barges were allowed
to navigate past the wreck. What caused the “Waldhof” to capsize
remains unclear. Two crew members died in the accident. The
narrows near the Loreley have been the bane of sailors for centuries.
According to legend, a beautiful siren at the spot calls to those sailing
the Rhine, causing them to crash their boats on the rocks.
February 13, 2011 - German
authorities said Sunday they had found a body on a tanker carrying nearly
2,400 tonnes of sulphuric acid that capsized on the Rhine river last month.
Authorities were for the first time able to gain access to the living
quarters of the ship, the Waldhof, the Waterways and Shipping Office (WSV)
said in a statement. "In the completely destroyed rooms, the recovery
team found and salvaged a body," the WSV said, adding: "We currently have no
information as to the identity of the dead person." Two of the
four-member crew were rescued following the January 13 accident. The other
two -- a German and a Czech national -- could not be found. It is not
immediately clear what caused the incident, which occurred near a celebrated
rock outcropping known as "Lorelei" above a narrow point in the river where
the current is very strong and accidents are not uncommon. Officials
pumped around 550 tonnes of the acid onto another ship, with the rest
leaking into the Rhine. Authorities have said there is no environmental
impact, as the acid was heavily diluted.
February 14, 2011 - The
Rhine River fully reopened to shipping on Monday, one month after a tanker
carrying sulfuric acid capsized, closing shipping lanes in the busy German
waterway, Reuters reported. The Waldhof sank on Jan. 13 near the
narrowest stretch of the river. Over the weekend, salvage crews worked to
remove the ill-fated tanker from the shipping lane. The tanker was
carrying about 2,600 tons of dangerous acid, which made the salvation
particularly challenging. Instead of risking the rupturing of
the ship, which would have released a massive acid shock to the ecosystem,
authorities decided that they would opt for allowing a slow leak, thus
giving the river a chance to dilute the acid as it seeped into the water,
according to German newspaper Deutsche Welle. Two crew members
survived, but the bodies of the other two still have not been recovered.
February 21, 2011
- Mammoet Maritime recovered a 105 metre ship from the River Rhine in
Germany after it sank and blocked downstream shipping for weeks. On 13
January 2011, the Waldhof capsized and sank, with the loss of two lives. The
ship was carrying 2,400 tonnes of concentrated sulphuric acid from BASF's
plant in Ludwigshafen, to Antwerp in Belgium. The resultant blockage
blockage created a backlog of more than 400 vessels. Mammoet deployed
25 operatives and engineers from bases in the Netherlands and Germany. With
them, they brought two sheerlegs, a crane pontoon, a tug and a pusher tug,
winch pontoons and specialized equipment for dealing with the hazardous
sulphuric acid. The company stabilised the tanker by positioning wire
ropes underneath it so it could be supported by the sheerlegs Amsterdam and
Grizzly. Holes were then drilled through the hull to analyse the contents of
the seven acid tanks. It was discovered that chemical reactions had
released hydrogen gas in the tanks. This posed a serious explosion hazard so
Mammoet's specialists flushed the tanks with nitrogen gas to displace
the hydrogen. following that, the tank contents were investigated. This
showed that, due to the ingress of river water, there was a layer of dilute
acid floating on top of the concentrated acid. Submersible pumps
were lowered through the 500 mm holes in the hull to mix the acid and obtain
a uniform concentration. Mammoet personnel transferred about 550 tonnes of
acid from the Waldhof to a tanker pontoon. Due to distortion of the
Waldhof's hull, it was decided, in consultation with the authorities, that
it would be safer to discharge most of the remaining acid into the river,
under an environmental permit. The discharge had a negligible
environmental impact, according to Mammoet, as the flow rate was controlled
and a monitoring vessel nearby tested the acidity of the water in the Rhine.
On 13 February the Waldhof was refloated by pumping water from the tanks and
righted using the sheerlegs. The vessel was then moved to a mooring nearby
and handed over to the owners on 17 February. Shipping authorities
will investigate the cause of the accident.
||December 7, 2010
Shell Canada has confirmed a vessel at its Shantz sulphur plant caught fire
and exploded Friday. No injuries were reported in the incident near
Caroline, Alta. "We had afire and a tank at our Shantz (sulphur
forming) facility that we had a problem with on Friday," said spokeswoman
Alice Murray." The incident is under investigation. The tank had
an unknown volume of sulphur in it. Shell is Canada's largest producer
of sulphur. A byproduct of sour natural gas, the highly flammable substance
is used to produce fertilizer, chemicals and other products.
|December 3, 2010
A stretch of I-25 in Denver has reopened after a truck leaked sulfuric acid
on the highway. The Denver Post reported that a tractor-trailer leaked
about 250 gallons of sulfuric acid as it drove along the highway.
Other drivers reported it. Some of the acid, which is highly
corrosive, got into nearby drains. Firefighters created dams around
the spillways to try to prevent more acid from flowing into the drains.
Denver Fire spokesman Phil Champagne said some vehicles drove through the
spill and the acid may corrode them. The spill closed northbound I-25
at South University Boulevard for about 10 1/2 hours.
|December 4, 2010
Staff were evacuated after a chemical spill at a North Wales factory.
A quantity of two types of acids came together in a designated area.
No one was hurt. The incident happened at Gardner Aerospace
plant on Hawarden Business Park in Flintshire and was reported at 9.39am.
Fire crews in protective, green chemical suits from Deeside, Mold and
Wrexham rushed to the factory, which makes aeroplane parts. A North
Wales fire and rescue service spokeswoman said: “500 litres of sulphuric
acid and chromic acid came out of containers into a bunded, metal, treatment
area. They were not supposed to be together. There was a standard
mobilisation of the fire and rescue service.” She added there
had been fears the acids could have entered the water supply.
Environment Agency Wales officials were alerted but those fears turned out
to be unfounded. The fire and rescue service spokeswoman said
firefighters dealt with the initial situation but it was the responsibility
of the company to deal with clearing up the spillage. No-one from
Gardner Aerospace was available to comment.
|November 19, 2010
A busy motorway was closed down for several hours this morning (Fri) after a
lorry transporting a dangerous substance came off the road. The
54-year-old driver of the Hungarian truck carrying sulphuric acid was
uninjured when the vehicle overturned and landed on the embankment at around
5.30am on the A4 eastern motorway. The man may fallen asleep behind the
wheel, police have said. Fire-fighters managed to pump off around 20
litres of the leaked substance. The incident caused long tailbacks, and
authorities stressed substantial damage to the environment could not be
ruled out. The A4 is a key route in the Vienna area since it connects
the city to rural Burgenland, a region from which thousands of people
commute to the capital. The motorway is also the quickest way to get to the
Vienna International Airport (VIA) and Hungary.
|November 12, 2010
of sulfuric acid leaking from a tank into a concrete basin at the Golden
Eagle refinery capped a rough couple of weeks for Tesoro on Friday. The
spill, which was first reported just before 11:30 a.m., has been contained
and there are expected to be no off-site impacts, according to the Bay City
||November 10, 2010
||Fire trucks were
called to a sulphur fire at a Napier fertiliser plant last night. The small
fire, in a shed at the Awatoto plant, burned about one square metre of
sulphur, said Napier fire officer Bryan Dunphy. Fire crews used a front-end
loader to separate the sulphur to prevent the fire spreading. "There is
always the potential for a big incident if things aren't dealt with
quickly," Mr Dunphy said. The fire was thought to have been started by a
spark from machinery.
|November 4, 2010
Last Wednesday the city’s contingency plans were put to the test when
emergency services were forced to clear the structure for about an hour to
clean a sulphuric acid spill. Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS)
station officer Darren McNamee said the spill was a hassle for many, both
locals and the huge numbers of people who travel through the city.
However he added the whole incident could have been avoided if cars did not
drive through the puddle of sulphuric acid and track it onto the bridge.
The incident was originally sparked by the spillage of 40 to 60 litres of
sulphuric acid just after 1pm on Wednesday from a tanker on the
intersections of Flinders Terrace and Victoria Parade, and the Eyre and
Stuart highways. Later, plans to close the bridge were delayed when
another spill was discovered 15 kilometres north along the Stuart Highway
and another fire vehicle had to be sent for across the main bridge.
Local police, the Country Fire Service, MFS and State Emergency Service were
involved in the clean up. The Environment Protection Authority
and local officials are conducting enquiries into the spill. The acid
spills were the second incident of this type in the past month. They were
neutralised using soda ash and hosed down with water.
|November 3, 2010
chemical cloud that formed over a Scarborough factory on Wednesday morning
has started to dissipate, Toronto police say. Residents in the area
were advised to remain indoors after Chemtura Canada — located at 10
Chemical Court, in the area of Lawrence Avenue and Morningside Avenue —
notified authorities of a chemical leak. But Constable Wendy Drummond
says firefighters have capped the leak, and the sulfuric acid cloud that
formed is dissipating thanks to the weather. “We are still advising
people to shelter in place until we can confirm that there is no longer a
danger,” she said. The leaked chemical is highly corrosive and toxic,
Const. Drummond said, citing unconfirmed reports that one delivery person
had been affected. The chemical produces a burning sensation and is
accompanied by a sulfuric smell. Police asked residents in the area to
close their windows and air ventilation systems, while local schools were
cautioned to keep children indoors. Police received a call
from the factory shortly after 11 a.m., and the cloud took about an hour to
start dispersing. Const. Drummond said while the event is not
typical, police have attended similar calls in other areas of the city.
Update - Two weeks after a Scarborough chemical plant released a cloud of
sulfuric acid and a neighbourhood warning system was activated there are no
clear answers on what caused the spill or what must be done to prevent a
similar accident. Ontario's environment ministry is still
waiting for the company, Chemtura Canada, to finish investigating the Nov. 3
spill but the company has shut down the part of its plant where the chemical
leak occurred until the source of the problem is found, said Kate Jordan, a
ministry spokesperson. The province's labour ministry said its own
accident investigation continues. Chemtura is part of the Toronto East
CAER (Community Awareness and Emergency Response) network, which maintains
and tests sirens to warn residents of the Manse Valley area between
Morningside Avenue and Highland Creek to seek shelter indoors during a
dangerous event. Sirens did sound on Nov. 3, but some residents
complained the warning came nearly an hour after the spill. Such
concerns could be brought to a community meeting of the CAER network, but
the last such meeting was on Oct. 19 and they are usually held every six
months. Member companies of the network are, however, scheduled to
meet privately on Dec. 8 with government and emergency services
representatives. This week, Al Deli, a spokesperson for the network,
predicted members will urge Chemtura to release more information on the
accident to the community. The network's community advisory panel,
which serves as a liaison between the companies and residents, is expected
to meet sometime in early 2011.
December 3, 2010
- Chemtura Canada released a cloud of acid mist from its West Hill plant on
Nov. 3 after contractors removing scaffolding from a room tripped an
electrical breaker, the company and Ontario's environment ministry now
agree. That morning's error caused a pump to shut off, which
allowed an oil-based feedstock to back up and mix with fuming sulfuric acid.
A computer monitoring system meant to detect this failed to shut down the
system, a ministry spokesperson said last week releasing results of the
company's investigation of the accident. Kate Jordan added the company
would install back flow valves and examine its monitoring system to prevent
a similar problem. "We're satisfied with the work they have done and
the improvements they've committed to," she said. "There wasn't any impact
to the community." Some residents, however, remain concerned.
Ron Moeser, the local city councillor, said he wants to ask Chemtura
officials what other steps can be taken and "to get as many details as
possible on a range of possibilities." He will get his chance,
possibly missing part of a Scarborough Community Council meeting next
Wednesday, Dec. 8, when members of the Toronto East CAER (Community
Awareness and Emergency Response) network meet in private with emergency
services representatives. Companies in the network run a warning
system to alert residents of the Manse Valley area when an accident takes
place. On Nov. 3, however, it was not Chemtura but the city's fire
department that contacted the ministry and determined the siren should be
sounded. Moeser said he wants an explanation of who made the decision
to sound the alarm - the first time this has happened during an actual
emergency - and why. "The process (leading to such decisions) has to
be reviewed," he said, adding he will ask nearby residents if they heard the
alarm and whether they know what is expected of them when it sounds.
The network's community advisory panel is expected to meet in early 2011,
and a community meeting would normally follow in the spring. Ontario's
labour ministry is continuing its own investigation of the Nov. 3 incident.January
31, 2013 - As environmental fines continue to increase, Chemtura Canada Inc.
was fined $150,000, plus the victim fine surcharge of $37,500, for spilling
sulphuric acid mist into the air, contrary to the Environmental Protection
Act.Chemtura's Toronto manufacturing facility produces sulfonates and
silicates used in lubes, industrial oil formulations and greases. When a
pump failed, Chemtura released sulphuric acid mist, which caused adverse
impacts to the surrounding environment and community. Those exposed to the
mist reported health impacts, businesses were shut down, people in the area
were evacuated, and a number of schools in the area were affected. Sulphuric
acid mist can burn sensitive tissues in the noise, mouth and lungs, as I can
attest from personal experience.
|October 31, 2010
||New people and
procedures are in place at Texas State University's co-generation plant in
the wake of a September chemical spill that could have caused serious damage
to the San Marcos River. Approximately 446 gallons of sulfuric acid were
accidentally released Sept. 16 after a valve on secondary containment system
was left open, the university's Director of Facilities Juan Guerra said.
The acid had leaked from the primary storage tank to the secondary
containment system after a tank fitting broke, Guerra said. "That was
discovered about 7 in the morning and we immediately contacted the police
department and the fire department and the hazardous control team" about the
fact the chemical had entered the sanitary sewer system, Guerra said crews
immediately began using soda ash and lime to neutralize the acid as it
entered the sewer system, and notified city officials because the chemical
could do damage to the wastewater treatment plant. Guerra said the
university's containment efforts were complete by around 9 a.m. and within
an hour most of the clean-up effort had been accomplished. San Marcos
firefighters worked for several hours to inject soda ash and lime into the
sewer system at points between the co-gen plant and the River Road treatment
plant. Guerra said subsequent to the spill, a number of new measures have
been instituted at the co-gen plant. "We've increased the frequency of
inspection and maintenance of hazardous materials storage containers and
we've also increased the frequency of inspection of the secondary
containment to make sure it's empty with no rainwater or other debris and
that the valves we use to drain the secondary containment are secure." He
said spill prevention control measures have also been given a second look,
with plans updated "to identify those additional steps we're going to take
to make sure we don't have recurrence." Six people lost their jobs in the
wake of the spill. Guerra said in addition to changing the management team,
the university has mandated additional training "for people that operate and
maintain those systems." "We have procured additional safety equipment and
spill containment equipment and we are developing written processes and
protocol so people will have a guideline they can refer to instead of just
verbal instruction." Guerra said while written procedures did already
exist, they were "pretty loose" and incomplete. "So we reviewed all of those
along with our environmental health and safety people to make sure they're
much more comprehensive," plainly laying out what needs to be done, the
frequency at which it needs to be done and "actions to be taken to make sure
we identify problems early and fix them before they turn into bigger
problems." The co-gen plant went online in 1987. Prior incidents included a
December 2009 release into the sewer system of hot water which could have
damaged the city's treatment plant and a 2006 release of a solvent called
"rust free." In both instances, Guerra said university and city crews
worked together. Neither resulted in serious harm. The sulfuric acid is
used to clean scale from elements of the co-gen plant, Guerra said.
|October 26, 2010
||A chemical leak in
Owatonna, Minn., sent three workers to the hospital Monday night and halted
activity at a window and door hardware production facility for many hours,
authorities said Tuesday. The leak occurred about 5:20 p.m. Monday at the
Truth Hardware site in the 200 block of 24th Avenue SW., when a valve broke
as a worker was discharging sulfuric acid, said Fire Chief Mike Johnson.
About 300 gallons of the chemical were lost, Johnson said. The worker was
decontaminated at the scene, taken to a hospital in Owatonna and then moved
by air ambulance to a second hospital. The employee's condition was not
immediately known. Two other workers were also taken to a hospital for
|October 21, 2010
||Gweru, South Africa
||A South African
Company, Stonetrading, has been slapped with a US$800 fine by the Gweru
Environmental Management Agency, (EMA) because its truck ferrying the
substance to Kadoma had spilt the acid. A Stonetrading truck carrying 30
tonnes of 98 'per cent' sulphuric acid spilt four tonnes of the acid while
it was on its way to Rio Zim in Kadoma. Provincial Environmental quality
scientist, Justice Muchemwa said sulphiric acid was very corrosive and
dangerous when inhaled by human beings. He said that the driver of the
truck only realised there was a spillage at a traffic circle near Gweru
Central Business District. “Much of the substance spilled at National Tyre
Services,” he said. The company was fined under a section of the Act which
states that “any person who causes any spillage of harzadous substances or
waste into the environment should be guilty to an offence liable to a
|October 18, 2010
||Via Rail says
passenger trains are being rerouted because of a freight train derailment
near Cornwall in eastern Ontario. Via says trains in the Toronto-Montreal
corridor are being rerouted through Ottawa, adding about two hours of travel
time. Service could be affected into Tuesday, and Via has stopped selling
tickets for train service along the route. More than a dozen cars of the
freight train left the tracks this morning, and a handful contained
dangerous goods including ammonium nitrate, sulphuric acid and sodium
cyanide. CN spokesman Jim Feeny says there was a small leak of about nine
kilograms of sodium cyanide but no one has been injured. Feeny says the
spill has been contained and all of the train's other cars are intact.
Freight service is being held up because of the derailment.
||October 14, 2010
The trouble for metal giant Sterlite at its copper plant in Thoothukudi
compounded on Wednesday after a contract worker died of acid burn injuries
on Wednesday morning. S. Muthukrishnan, 24, driver of a tanker lorry
that carried sulphuric acid from the harbour to the Sterlite Industries’
copper smelter unit, suffered acid burns inside the plant premises on
September 18. According to officials at the Sipcot police station,
Muthukrishnan was standing on the tanker while the acid was being unloaded.
They said he accidentally fell on the acid that had spilled on the ground,
suffering fatal injuries. Environmental activists and politicians,
including CPI state assistant secretary C. Mahendran, who have been
campaigning against the Sterlite unit over allegations of damaging local
environment, raked up the issue leading to a controversy on Wednesday, which
was accentuated by a seemingly hasty post-mortem analysis done early in the
morning. Relatives of the worker refused to receive the body from the
medical college hospital there and staged a protest, which was withdrawn
only after senior police officials who rushed to the spot promised to
conduct a proper inquiry and take action against anyone found responsible.
Sterlite was in the news recently after the Madras High Court came down on
it for polluting the environment and directed it to close the plant, an
order that was stayed by the Supreme Court. However, despite the legal
breather, the company is still facing the ire of activists and local public
who have continued their campaign against the copper smelting unit.
|October 13, 2010
A tractor-trailer carrying corrosive items created a hazardous material
incident on Monday at around 8:15 a.m. on Olde Scotland Road at Exit 24 of
I-81. Before the area was cleaned up, about 275 gallons of acid flowed
out of the trailer. Fire Chief Mark Cleck of the West End Fire and Rescue
Company said that the initial call was reported as a sulfuric acid leak,
which was reported by several passing motorists and the driver of the
tractor-trailer. Cleck said that the tractor-trailer was pulled off to the
side of the roadway, with the operator out of the vehicle, and he could see
a liquid flowing out of the rear of the truck onto the ground when he
arrived on the scene. Traffic was stopped in both directions on Olde
Scotland Road, at Woods Road and Mt. Rock Road, and the northbound exit ramp
at Exit 24 was also shut down, keeping motorists away from the scene. A
nearby business was also shut down. Cleck said that the
tractor-trailer was hauling several different types of corrosive items, one
of which was sulfuric acid, according to the paperwork the operator had in
his possession. The operator said that most of it was stored in 13 totes at
275 gallons each. The operator said that while he was driving his load
shifted, causing a breakage and spill. Hazardous Material Teams from
both Franklin and Cumberland Counties responded to the scene, along with
additional fire apparatus for the water and extra manpower. Trained
personnel then suited up in protective gear and air packs, preparing to walk
near the tractor-trailer for observation. A decontamination wash was se tup
for the team for when they finished. The scene was deemed safe, and
the trained personnel returned back. A hazardous material cleanup team was
already on the scene, and was given the okay to make the proper cleanup.
Chief Cleck couldn't confirm exactly what type of corrosive acid spilled,
only that it was no longer a threat to the area. Cleck said that there were
about 75 personnel on the scene, which included firefighters, EMS, hazardous
material teams, hazard material staff, fire police, state police and PennDOT
officials. Units began clearing the scene at around 12:15 p.m. Chief
Cleck said that he was grateful to the Shippensburg Pizza Hut, McDonalds and
Papa John's for donating food to everyone that was on the scene.
|October 11, 2010
Southampton, Township, Pennsylvania
The northbound exit and entrance ramps of Interstate 81 at Exit 24 are
closed this morning because of a possible sulfuric acid spill. State
police and fire personnel are currently investigating the incident at the
intersection of Pa. 696 (Olde Scotland Road) and I-81. A PennDOT
spokesman said emergency dispatchers were notified this morning of a spill
at the exit, and a placard on the truck indicated the truck was carrying
sulfuric acid. I-81 remains open in both directions. Pa. 696 is closed
at the bridge. PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny said it's too early to say
how much damage was caused by the spill. The Franklin County
Department of Emergency Services said it will release information on the
Exit 24 of northbound
Interstate 81 in Franklin County, Pa., was closed for about five hours
Monday after a tractor-trailer’s load shifted and caused hazardous material
to leak on the ground, a Pennsylvania State Police spokesman said. The
tractor-trailer contained 20,000 pounds of sulfuric acid, according to the
Franklin County Department of Emergency Services. The incident, which
occurred at about 8 a.m., prompted officials to close the portion of Pa. 696
from I-81 to Woods Road, police said. Crews were on the scene until
1:08 p.m., according to the Department of Emergency Services.
|October 1, 2010
Department of Environmental Quality inspectors are investigating a Valero
Energy Corp. leak in a transfer line that released about 1,000 pound of
sulfuric acid into the Mississippi River, a DEQ spokesman confirmed Friday.
The leak happened at its Norco St. Charles refinery Thursday. The leak
was on a transfer pump while transferring sulfuric acid from a storage tank
to a process unit. The amount leaked is approximately 65 gallons, or just
more than one drum, and it occurred over 80 minutes. DEQ spokesman Tim
Beckstrom said a department scientist investigating the incident does not
see a public safety concern with the leak. "Acids such as sulfuric are
capable of being neutralized quite quickly, given the PH," said DEQ
spokesman Tim Beckstrom. "The leak occurred over 80 minutes, so it was not a
sudden large surge, but more like a gallon per minute."
|October 1, 2010
An unknown amount of sulfur leaked into the Corpus Christi Inner Harbor as
it was being pumped from Flint Hills Refinery to a docked barge Thursday
afternoon, officials said. Company spokeswoman Katie
Stavinoha said the amount of the spill had not been measured after the 1
p.m. equipment failure, but she believed it to be a small amount.
Sulfur is a byproduct of the crude oil refining process that is moved
through a pipeline to a nearby dock where it is pumped through a hose onto
waiting barges and sold as an export, Stavinoha said. The leak came from the
hose. The Refinery Terminal Fire Company was called and put
up booms around the spill to keep it from extending further into open water,
she said, and those efforts were successful. “It was contained
very quickly. There was no impact to the public,” she said. Sulfur can
be an irritant in high concentrations but the amount spilled Thursday would
not be enough to cause damage or harm, Stavinoha said.
“There is an investigation under way and all appropriate agencies were
notified,” she said.
|August 26, 2010
||Las Vegas, Nevada
A sulfuric acid spill brought traffic to a halt on parts of Interstate 15
for nearly three hours Wednesday. Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman
Tim Szymanski SAYS a 55 gallon drum containing the hazardous liquid began
leaking from the back of a truck after 4 p.m. Wednesday. A driver who
spotted the leak called 911 to alert authorities. Firefighters
neutralized the acid by using another chemical. At first,
traffic was blocked on both sides of I-515 near East Charleston Boulevard
and Las Vegas Boulevard. But officials began allowing some traffic to move
as the cleanup got under way. The entire roadway was reopened about 7
|August 25, 2010
emergency crews responded to a report sulfuric acid spilled at the Reckitt
Benckiser plant on Route 206 at 2:10 p.m. Wednesday. Police responding to
the scene determined some acid vapor leaked as it was being unloaded and
transferred from a truck to a holding tank. The leak was contained, police
said. There were no injuries reported at the scene. In addition to the
police, the Somerset County Hazmat team and Hillsborough Board of Health
officials investigated the incident, also reporting no additional health
concerns. Other crews responding were from the Rescue Squad, and all three
Hillsborough fire companies.
|August 16, 2010
||Coeymans, New York
Officials are looking into what caused 27 cars of a CXS train to derail in
Ravena Monday morning. They say it happened around 5 a.m. on a single track
area in the town of Coeymans. Police say the cars were carrying diesel fuel
and sulfuric acid, however no contents were spilled. The wreck is however
causing some headaches for other trains in the area. ”This is the main
line that runs from NYC to the Selkirk yards, just north of the derailment
it opens up to two tracks but unfortunately where it's at is a one track
area and all train traffic is currently stopped,” said Coeyman Police
Chief Gregory Darlington. Crews are hoping to have the tracks cleared
up by 9 or 10 p.m. Monday evening. The cause of the crash remains under
investigation. The last time a train derailed in that area was in the early
|August 11, 2010
Tshwane Emergency Services finished cleaning operations near the Fresh
Produce Market, west of Pretoria. The market was closed on Wednesday
after a truck carrying sulphuric acid experienced a leak there on Tuesday
night. The liquid is corrosive and toxic if inhaled. Officials
evacuated people in a kilometer radius from the vehicle. Tshwane
Emergency Services’ Johan Pieterse said, “The product was classified as
sulphuric acid and was evaluated and the fresh produce market as well. We
evacuated the area due to the wind direction that was directly behind the
fresh produce market.” The market will resume normal trading on
The Tshwane Fresh Produce Market, in the west of Pretoria, re-opened for
business on Thursday, following a spillage of sulphuric acid from a truck on
Tuesday. The acid has been cleaned up by the Tshwane Fire Brigade
Services and, together with the Agriculture and Environmental Management
Department, it has declared the area safe. The market was closed
to ensure cars and pedestrians did not step on the acid residue on the piece
of road affected or walk into the market and so that there was no inhalation
of the gasses from the acid which can have an irritating affect.
"The city would like to dispel rumours about the possibility of the produce
having to be destroyed as a result of gasses from the spill," says City of
Tshwane spokesperson Console Tleane. He said in fact the acid spill had not
affected the produce at all.
||August 11, 2010
||Kansas City, Kansas
||A bulk materials
storage company in Kansas City, Kan., has been fined $97,000 to settle
allegations that it violated federal laws on toxic chemical storage. The
Environmental Protection Agency announced the settlement and civil penalty
against Tanco Kansas City on Tuesday. The agency contends Tanco failed to
file proper documents about its storage of sulfuric acid from 2006 to 2008.
A subsequent report showed that in 2009 Tanco stored more than 2 million
pounds of the hazardous chemical. The EPA also says Tanco did not have a
plan to guard against spills into a tributary of the Missouri River. The
EPA says Tanco's facility can store about 7 million gallons of liquid
asphalt, sulfuric acid and calcium chloride.
|August 10, 2010
suffered minor smoke inhalation after a smouldering sulphur fire broke out
in a CN railcar near the Lions Gate Bridge Tuesday afternoon. West Vancouver
Police say people living nearby were asked to stay in their homes and close
their windows until firefighters doused the blaze. Firefighters say
everyone in the area cooperated. People within 800 yards of the tracks were
evacuated. Crews say sulphur fumes can turn into sulphuric acid once they're
hit with water.
"The sulphur in there was smouldering and causing a moderate amount of
smoke. It wasn't free flaming. We went in and put it out. The Squamish
Nation and Norgate were put on evacuation warning. Police went througn with
their PA systems and asked residents to shelter in place." Assistant Fire
Chief Martin Ernst of West Vancouver Fire and Rescue played many roles
today: media relations manager, firefighter, and coordinator, as sixteen
fire fighters worked to extinguish smouldering sulphur in an open box car on
the Capilano Reserve. "We were mobolizing the Can Alert system
because the smoke was starting to drift and increase. The moment we were
able to put water on it, smoke died down. Winds were in our favour, because
they were quite light. We got the call at 2:45. We arrived at the scene 8
or 9 mintues later. We have to go through the process of product
identification. There was a victim. He was asthmatic. We had to see how
we deal with this specific product. We established there was a half mile
radius of immediate evacuation and that others would be put on alert.
Everybody stayed put.
||August 10, 2010
responded around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday to the report of a hazardous material
spill at the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant located in the 2700 block of Central
Texas Parkway. Firefighters say about 10 gallons of sulfuric acid spilled
outside of the plant loading dock after a load of industrial-type batteries,
used to operate motorized pallet jacks and forklifts, crashed to the
ground. Waco Firefighters established command of the scene and requested
EMS and HAZMAT crews while the plant manager evacuated the loading dock,
isolated the spill area and shut down ventilation to the plant. A
neutralizing agent was applied to the spill as HAZMAT crews worked to
establish a cleanup plan. No injuries were reported in connection with the
||August 4, 2010
suffered minor injuries following a leak of sulfuric acid at the Valero
Refinery Tuesday, Public Affairs Manager Sue Fisher Jones said. The lead
occurred within the utilities, or process block, area of the refinery and
was contained on site, Fisher Jones said. An exact time of the leak was not
immediately available as was the exact nature of the injuries. "The leak
was contained locally and there were no off-site impacts and all is
operationally normal now," she said. An investigation will be conducted to
determine the exact cause, a process which may take a few days, she said.
One injured worker left the site in his own vehicle to go to a private
doctor while the other worker was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for
evaluation and will be returning to work, Fisher Jones said.
|July 27, 2010
Service Area on the westbound side of the Massachusetts Turnpike was closed
after a tractor trailer developed a sulfuric acid leak Tuesday afternoon.
State environmental officials and the regional hazardous materials team
rushed to the rest stop after the dripping acid was spotted. Mass Pike
motorists and the employees of the McDonald's restaurant and service station
were told to leave the area. Traffic kept flowing in both directions along
the Pike while crews worked to contain the spill.
Hazardous materials officials have completed off-loading of sulfuric acid
waste from a carrier truck on the Massachusetts Turnpike, but the clean up
is scheduled to continue at least until Thursday. The tanker remains
isolated at a service plaza in the Hampden County town of Blandford. The
rest stop is expected to be closed at least another day. State police
say the truck contained approximately 40,000 pounds of the waste sulfuric
product. Hazmat officials who opened the tanker on Tuesday discovered a
rupture of one of its compartments. Police say there is no danger to
the surrounding area. However, the substance poses a threat to those exposed
to it. Police say the truck driver suffered an initial minor exposure
and that the leak is limited to the rest area.
The load, being hauled in a truck registered
to the Ashland Company, originated at Fort Devens and was bound for
Binghamton, N.Y. The company is licensed to haul harmful chemicals. It
contained 40,000 pounds of a sulfuric acid waste product. The load was
distributed among 12 to 15 tote containers, each measuring approximately
3,500 pound and 500 gallons. During transit, the load shifted and one of the
containers apparently ruptured. Some two to four of the totes were
damaged when the load shifted, Keefe said, adding that only a small amount
of acid is believed to have spilled outside the truck. A stainless steel
containment system inside the truck caught most of the acid
||July 27, 2010
||Port Moody, British
||On the evening of
July 18, a minor amount of sulphur dust was generated during the loading of
a vessel at PCT in Port Moody. This incident did not pose any threat to the
public. The sulphur was being reclaimed from a stockpile that had dried out
due to recent dry weather. As the product was being loaded, all of PCT’s
dust suppression systems were fully functioning, however the shiploader was
positioned too high above the hold of the vessel and some dust was generated
as sulphur dropped into the hold. There was a relatively minor amount of
dust that lasted for about 15 minutes. Some dust was also generated for
very brief periods when loading commenced in other holds. Unfortunately,
PCT’s dust control systems were not able to control the dust from this very
dry product for brief periods. PCT has an air quality permit with Metro
Vancouver. PCT discussed the incident with Metro Vancouver on July 20, and
the permit enforcement officer from Metro Vancouver visited the site on July
22 to investigate. He reviewed all of our dust suppression systems and
observed that they were all functioning properly. A report is pending. PCT
has taken measures to adjust the dust suppression for this type of product
and to ensure the shiploader drop heights are minimized. We continue to
ensure all dust control systems are working. Over the years, PCT has
invested more than $90 million in terminal improvements — all with a focus
on environmental protection — including dust suppression systems. This is
the first complaint PCT has received about dust from shiploading in
approximately four years, which provides an indication of our diligence and
success in managing our air quality systems. PCT takes dust control issues
very seriously and has worked diligently to ensure dust is not generated
from our operations. We are very concerned that this incident occurred, and
we will work extremely hard to ensure it is not repeated.
||July 26, 2010
emissions of sulfur dioxide in unknown amounts on Sunday at its 265,000
barrel per day Carson refinery in California, according to a filing with
state environmental regulators. The
incident occured when too much pressure was applied while steaming a line.
It is under investigation.
|July 19, 2010
||Sulfuric acid is
leaking from a trailer after a crash in southern Arizona Monday morning.
Arizona Department of Public Safety Officials said a trailer and pickup
collided around 9 a.m. on State Route 77, just north of Mammoth. DPS said
the trailer is leaking sulfuric acid and traffic is being directed around
the crash area. The roadway is expected to be cleared by 11:20 a.m.,
according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. No major backups
have been reported.
||July 15, 2010
||Newark, New Jersey
A 400-gallon container filled with sulfuric acid exploded inside a Newark
processing plant today, seriously injuring a nearby employee who was
splashed with dangerous chemicals, officials said. Authorities are
still trying to determine what caused the explosion, which forced 60
firefighters and Department of Environmental Protection officials to respond
to the bio-diesel fuel processing plant on Passaic Street around 3:40 p.m.,
according to Newark Fire Chief Michael Lalor.
The victim, who was not identified, suffered third-degree burns to eighteen
percent of his body and was taken to Saint Barnabas Medical Center’s burn
unit in Livingston with non-life threatening injuries, Lalor said. The
man was apparently connecting hoses to a tanker truck filled with methanol
when the acid container burst behind him, according to Lalor. He said
the facility mixes acids and other chemicals to make bio-diesel fuels.
Firefighters and DEP representatives spent nearly 21/2 hours trying to
decontaminate the building. Lalor said 100 to 200 gallons of acid spilled
and flooded the structure, and hazmat teams weren’t able to fully neutralize
the acid in the area until 6:10 p.m. Methanol and sulfuric acid are
flammable substances, according to Lalor, and officials on the scene had to
work quickly to close the methanol container after the acid leak, fearing a
possible second explosion. "It has a low flash point, but we wanted to
make sure it didn’t ignite at all," Lalor said. The incident
also forced State Police to shut down water traffic in the nearby Passaic
River for about an hour, as firefighters worked to dissipate a vapor cloud
that was floating toward the river as a result of the acid explosion.
||July 14, 2010
A sulfur dioxide leak from an old refrigerator forced seven people from
their Birch Street home Tuesday night. Two people - a resident and a
firefighter - were taken to Manchester Memorial Hospital as a precuation.
They were treated and discharged, fire department said, and the four-family
house has since been declared safe. The leak happened about 8:20 p.m.
in one of the apartments at 64 Birch St., where a man and woman were
cleaning ice out of a very old refrigerator, according to a press release
from the town's fire department, Manchester Fire-Rescue-EMS. The
refrigerator contained sulfur dioxide, a precursor to Freon, which is a
poisonous gas that is severely irritating to the skin, eyes, nose, throat
and lungs. The substance was phased out as a refrigerant in the 1960s, the
fire department said. The gas escaped when a refrigerant line inside
the freezer was punctured, fire officials said. Some refrigerant was sprayed
in the face of a female resident. Both the man and woman, who were exposed
to the pungent odor of escaping gas, flushed their faces with water,
firefighters said; they and the other five occupants left the apartment and
called 911. A regional hazardous materials team and the state
Department of Environmental Protection joined fire crews at the scene. The
house was ventilated and the refrigerator removed.
||July 13, 2010
Fire and rescue crews spent hours tending to a hazardous materials incident
at the Richmond wastewater plant Tuesday morning. A potentially dangerous
chemical was leaking in the 1400 block of Brander Street - just off
Interstate 95 near Ancarrow's landing in Richmond's southside. A worker
inside called emergency crews after smelling something he thought was sulfur
dioxide. Richmond fire Lt. Shawn Jones says the employee was right. Rescue
crews detected a small dose of sulfur dioxide leaking from a pipeline
connecting a rail car and the facility. Jones says sulfur dioxide in large
quantities can be very toxic and the worker who inhaled the sulfur dioxide
was checked out as a precaution. It was determined that he was okay and the
other workers were kept outside for hours for their safety. Chris Rossi
works at the facility and is also a volunteer Hanover firefighter. His
experience came in handy. Rossi spent part of his morning investigating the
incident himself - trying to figure out the dangers of sulfur dioxide. "I
checked my handy dandy hazard book," said Rossi. "Dangers of sulfur dioxide,
distance, etc." Lt. Jones says the leak is plugged, but the work isn't
over. The complete cleanup was expected to take hours, so everyone was kept
away for hours. The plant has since been reopened.
||July 02, 2010
||11 workers from the
Huntsman plant in Port Neches were treated at hospitals and returned to work
Friday after they were exposed to sulfur dioxide, according to information
the plant manager provided to KFDM News. No one was seriously hurt,
according to Jordan Morgan, the plant manager, and the workers were taken by
ambulances to several hospitals for treatment of irritation and other
symptoms of exposure to sulfur dioxide. "About 11 a.m. we had a valve on a
pipeline within the plant leak sulfur dioxide," said Morgan. "It remained on
site. 11 of our employees were exposed to it. It's not toxic but an
irritating and corrosive gas." Morgan told KFDM News the Huntsman emergency
response team shut down the pipeline and isolated the leak. Although the
leak was stopped, wind blew the sulfur dioxide to an area where workers were
located, according to Morgan. "Our medical staff treated the people and
about 11 were transported local hospitals." 7 Acadian ambulances responded,
and Morgan told KFDM News three ambulances transported the workers to
Renaissance Hospital, the Medical Center of Southeast Texas, Christus
Hospital St. Mary and Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth. The employees were
all released from hospitals and returned to work Friday afternoon. Morgan
said the plant is operating normally, with the exception of the pipeline and
related equipment. Huntsman has notified OSHA and the TCEQ. "We're trained
to respond to emergencies and our people did a real good job of dealing with
it," said Morgan.
|June 14, 2010
||Police say about 12
cars on a Canadian Pacific cargo train have derailed in a collision with a
garbage truck near St. Adolphe south of Winnipeg. The train was hauling
sulphur and sulphuric acid but there was no damage to those cars and none of
it leaked. Some diesel fuel did escape, however, and the environmental
impact is being assessed. One house was evacuated as a precaution. The
driver of the garbage truck, a 43-year-old man from Oakbank, Man., was taken
to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Tracey Dinsmore and her
husband live right by the crash site. "We heard the brakes happen and we
saw a big cloud of smoke and some of the train had derailed. My husband
drove the car to the end of our driveway, because it did happen right by our
yard here, and he went to go look for people," she said. "(He) found one
lone occupant and had pulled him out from by the truck and by that time I
was calling 911." Dinsmore said her husband also checked on the locomotive
engineers and they were OK.
||June 12, 2010
Two employees at a Buckeye chemical plant were taken to a hospital this week
after they were burned by sulfuric acid, officials said. The men were
taken Tuesday from the Thatcher Company chemical plant to the burn unit at
Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix in stable condition, Buckeye Fire Chief
Bob Costello said. They had "at least second-degree burns" on their heads
and faces. Plant manager Philip Belden said the men were released from
the hospital about two hours later. Firefighters responded to the
chemical plant at 6321 N. Rainbow Road about 11:15 a.m., Costello said.
Belden said the incident is under investigation. The men were repairing a
sulfuric-acid pipeline when the acid spilled. The men had been working on
the pipes for two days "so they had several pieces of it apart and had been
replacing parts," Belden said. The employees were wearing full
protective equipment, including Gore-Tex acid suits, rubber boots and
gloves, hardhats, face shields and goggles, according to safety protocols,
Belden said. They had completed extensive safety training in accordance with
company standards. The employees followed the standard protocol for
spills, he said, which prioritizes helping the injured employee.
"Protocol is obviously different depending on the situation, but your
standard protocol is obviously first aid," Belden said. "If it's beyond the
ability of plant personnel, then it goes out to a 911 call." Belden
would not say what other procedures and standards the company has in place
to protect employees. Belden said Tuesday's incident was the first
chemical spill at the plant in the three years he has worked there.
"We do our best to make sure that this place is safe with all the safety
precautions, engineering controls, training procedures," Belden said.
"This was something that certainly is not commonplace. . . . so we'll have
an investigation into it and make sure that we do corrective measures to
make sure this type of incident doesn't happen again." Ten people work
at the Buckeye plant. Thatcher Company is a chemical manufacturing and
distributing company based in Salt Lake City, according to the company's
website. It employs more than 250 people in eight states.
|June 8, 2010
A sulfuric acid spill closed one westbound lane on U.S. 30 through Monday
evening's commute. About 55 gallons of the acid leaked out of a
tractor-trailer traveling from KCI Chemical in Kingsbury in LaPorte County
to Wisconsin. A container holding the chemical had fallen over
in the truck, as did another container of phosphoric acid that leaked a
lesser amount of that corrosive. A Valparaiso police officer pulled
the truck over after noticing the leak about 1:30 p.m. The
driver, according to some accounts, noticed the problem first after hearing
a crash inside his trailer, opened the back door and inhaled fumes. He
was taken to Porter hospital for observation, although officials didn't know
if he'd been admitted. "He got a good whiff," said Greg
Eckhardt, deputy director of Environmental Operations for Porter County.
Eckhardt, who was the hazmat worker on the scene, compared the inhalation to
using strong cleaning chemicals in a small room. No one else was
hurt, and Eckhardt said that as long as no one touched it directly, the acid
wasn't a threat. There was no cloud or major fume collection from the
chemical. A clean-up contractor was expected to remove all the truck's
chemicals and neutralize the acid with a strong base, such as baking soda.
Some of the topsoil that the acid leaked onto would also be removed.
The Valparaiso officer first noticed the leak near the intersection of U.S.
30 and Indiana 2 and pulled the truck over west of Marsh Street, Senior
State Trooper Tom Quinn said. Quinn couldn't speculate how long the
materials had been leaking, but state police planned to inspect the truck
for any violations. "We know right away there's going to be a securement
violation on the load," Quinn said, referring to the tipped drums on board.
||May 25, 2010
Potentially dangerous chemical fumes at the Lucite International plant near
Millington led to the evacuation of businesses and residences along Highway
51 and Fite Road Tuesday morning.
The Lucite plant, which
is next to the Dupont plant, started fuming a vapor mix of sulfur dioxide
and sulfur trioxide, which reacts with moisture in the air to create a dense
sulfuric acid mist. Sulfur trioxide can be harmful if ingested or inhaled,
and can also cause skin and severe eye irritation on contact.
Plant spokesman Tom Eubanks said there was not a chemical leak, but referred
to the situation as "a fuming condition" as the sulfuric acid regeneration
plant was started up. The Shelby County Fire Department and HAZMAT
teams were called in to assist. Several businesses along Highway 51
between Fite Road and the Loosahatchie River in about a one mile radius were
evacuated until emergency crews safely cleared the scene.
Steve Shular, a spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, said 30-40
people in the immediate area were affected by the evacuation.
No injuries have been reported.
||March 23, 2010
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is responding this morning to
the report of an on-going air release of sulfur trioxide from the BASF plant
in Palmyra. The department was notified this morning by plant officials
that the plant began venting the gas about 8 a.m., and the release was
continuing through mid-morning. The department has dispatched an emergency
environmental responder from its Macon office to the scene to help determine
the extent of the release and possible human health and environmental
effects. When mixed with water, sulfur trioxide becomes sulfuric acid.
BASF officials have evacuated the plant and neighboring industries. As a
precaution, the U.S. Coast Guard has stopped traffic on the Mississippi
River between mile markers 325 and 318. Prevailing winds from the southwest
are carrying the vented gas over a primarily rural area of Illinois. The
department has contacted both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
office that covers Missouri as well as the Illinois Environmental Protection
Agency. The department has also notified Marion County emergency management
Investigations are under way
after an estimated 200 pounds of the acid rain-producing gas sulfur trioxide
leaked into the air Tuesday at the BASF plant near Palmyra. There were
no injuries and no immediate environmental impact was detected.
Initial company tests showed the chemical was contained to the sprawling
site along Missouri Highway 168 near the Mississippi River. The leak
took place in an isolated part of the plant. It was detected about 7 a.m.
and lasted until 10 a.m. Only 25 of the more than 300 employees were
evacuated. As a precaution, barge traffic was suspended until 1:05 p.m.
Plant Manager Michael McFarlane said that the leak “more than likely”
resulted from a mechanical failure, but added that at least a dozen BASF
personnel would be searching for what went wrong using data that records
glitches in the system and how to prevent it from happening again.
State investigators also were going to test for environmental damage and
look at whether regulatory action was needed. “It’s too early to say
if there’s anything that needs to be remediated,” said Judd Slivka of the
Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “We work hand-in-hand with
regulators to make sure we do everything we need to do,” McFarlane said.
Winds may have blown some of the gas toward Illinois, but Adams County
Emergency Management Director John Simon in Quincy had received no reports
of problems and a spokesman for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
said no testing was planned. “Our understanding is the plume
dissipated pretty rapidly,” Slivka said. “If it had to happen, the weather
was perfect for it. There was a light wind and no rain.” Sulfur
trioxide is a precursor to sulfuric acid, which BASF uses to make
herbicides. It is one of the most massively produced chemicals in America,
and is a component in acid rain. The chemical is caustic and can
cause respiratory problems. When sulfur trioxide is exposed to air, it
rapidly takes up water and gives off white fumes. If it combines with water,
it releases considerable heat while forming sulfuric acid. McFarlane
said production of sulfur trioxide would be halted until the internal review
was completed. He said the plant’s emergency precautions worked well.
“The people on site are trained to handle this type of thing,” McFarlane
said. “Everybody moved into action pretty quickly. Everything was done by
the book. Above all, we’re glad everybody’s safe.” If investigators
find that the plant exceeded its permitted level of sulfur trioxide, the
state could fine BASF. The allowable level for BASF is 2,000 parts per
million in a three-hour period, according to the state. The release
was the second reported by BASF in the last 10 months. In May 2009, an
apparent failure during an incinerator test led to the discharge of the
anti-corrosion chemical hexavalent chromium into the river. Slivka
said the Department of Natural Resources is seeking “enforcement action”
against BASF because of the incident, but declined to discuss specifics
because the case remains open
||May 20, 2010
Bapco has admitted a spillage caused by the loading and transportation of
sulphur from its refinery in Askar to the Khalifa Bin Salman Port in Hidd.
A company spokesman said Bapco was aware of a small spill, which occurred
outside of residential areas. However, he said that irrespective
of the quantity, Bapco was further reviewing the operation and would put in
place measures to avoid it happening again. Bapco also
thanked Muharraq Municipal Council technical committee chairman Ali Al
Muqla, who directed them to the incident, for his concern for the safety of
the public. 'We assure Al Muqla that the company is
concerned about the safety and well-being of anyone who interacts with it,
whether a member of the public, a contractor or employee,' said the
spokesman. 'The company encourages people to report any safety or
environmental concern they may have directly to the management, which would
immediately take action.
|March 16, 2010
No chemicals have spilled from a train derailment on Detroit’s west side,
according to the Detroit Fire Department Hazardous Materials Unit. The
unit was sent to the tracks at Joy and Freeland roads after at least two
cars carrying sodium nitrate and sulfuric acid jumped the track at 11:33
a.m., Detroit Fire Department Capt. Gerod Funderburg said. No one was
injured in the derailment.
|March 2, 2010
||A semi-truck hauling
a load that included sulfuric acid crashed early Tuesday on Highway 221
south of Prosser after its brakes failed. A “minimal amount” of the acid
spilled, and the state Department of Ecology was contacted, reported the
Washington State Patrol. The wreck happened at 12:15 a.m. The 1997 Volvo
semi-truck with two trailers, driven by Jody L. Fuller, 50, of Everett, was
headed south on the highway approaching the intersection with Highway 14
when its brakes lost air pressure, the state patrol said. The truck rolled
onto its side as it attempted to turn left. Fuller was not hurt.
||February 25, 2010
||Four workers have
arrived in Perth after suffering serious burns after a sulphuric acid pipe
burst at an industrial site in Australind this morning. A Royal Flying
Doctor Service spokeswoman said it was believed the men suffered the
injuries after the Millennium Inorganic Chemicals plant, at the Kemerton
industrial park, was shut down because the pipe was blocked. When they went
to investigate, the pipe burst, the spokeswoman said. A 59-year-old man had
"very severe" burns to 45 per cent of his body, mainly his lower body, and
was transported back to Perth with a 48-year-old man who had acid "splashes"
to his feet, face and back. A 25-year-old man also has full skin thickness
burns to his legs, while a 54-year-old man had acid "splash" burns on his
legs. The pair have just arrived at Jandakot. All four men will be treated
at Royal Perth Hospital's burns unit, run by Fiona Wood. A Worksafe
spokeswoman said both Worksafe and Resources Safety inspectors were at the
site, and it would be decided who would investigate the incident after they
were allowed into the complex, which is still under the control of the Fire
and Emergency Services Authority. Millennium Inorganic Chemicals, a
subsidiary of Saudi Arabian-based Cristal Global, runs a titanium operation
at the plant.
April 8, 2012 - Two workers who suffered horrific
burns after a sulphuric acid spill at an Australind chemical plant have
launched a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against their employers.
The men and two other workers were sprayed with the corrosive in
February 2010 when a valve failed at the plant in Australind, 155km south of
Perth. They were flown to Royal Perth Hospital where
burns specialist Fiona Woods headed a team of surgeons who carried out skin
grafts and other operations. Lawyers for one worker, who
had to have a leg amputated, and chemical engineer Andrew Carruthers this
week confirmed lawsuits would be lodged against plant owner Millennium
Inorganic Chemicals and contractor CCR Group. A writ for
Mr Carruthers was submitted in the Perth District Court this week.
He was in hospital for more than three months and still requires
medical treatment. The document said Mr Carruthers would
never be able to work again, which forms part of his claim.
Millennium Inorganic Chemicals was fined $90,000 in September for
four counts of breaching the Dangerous Goods and Safety Act
April 11, 2012 - Former employees of
an Australind chemical plant will take the plant owners to court in a
multi-million dollar lawsuit after they were severely injured by a chemical
spill in 2010. Two of the four men who were injured when
a sulphuric acid pipe burst have lodged lawsuits against plant owner
Millennium Inorganic Chemicals and contractor CCR Group.
One of the men had to have a leg amputated. The other was
severely burned by the acid. A writ for one of the men
was submitted to Perth District Court last week. No date
has been set for the matter to go to court. The company
was fined $90,000 in Perth Magistrate’s Court in September last year after
pleading guilty to charges related to the acid spill. The
Department of Mines and Petroleum investigated the incident.
At the time of the investigation, safety director Philip Hine said it
could have been prevented if adequate safety measures were in place.
Mr Hine said the incident was a result of inadequate inspection of
the recently replaced sulphuric acid pipe work system.
“This decision sends an important message to employers about their
obligation to thoroughly inspect all systems of work to ensure safety,
particularly when making changes,” Mr Hine said. “A
problem was detected with the system that indicated acid was not flowing
into the finishing tanks. “Three staff went to identify
the cause of the problem when a valve failed and sprayed them with
concentrated sulphuric acid.” Mr Hine said the department
investigation showed the valve that failed was designed to carry 40 per cent
sulphuric acid but it was exposed to 98 per cent. An
inspection by the company failed to identify that the valve had not been
replaced. After the investigation, company site director
Simon Morten said the company had upgraded its maintenance and auditing
functions. He said the court had acknowledged the
company’s exemplary safety record and that it had done everything reasonably
expected in response to the incident.
|February 14, 2010
||Portions of La. 3127
and La. 70 are expected to remain closed throughout the night as Ascension
Parish Hazardous Materials crews continue to clean up after a tanker truck
holding nearly 4,000 gallons of sulphuric acid overturned, a State Police
spokesman said. Investigators believe thick fog caused the driver of the
truck, Phillip Vallare, 37, to lose control as he was traveling west on La.
3127 just before 8 a.m. today, said Trooper 1st Class Russell Graham, State
Police spokesman. Vallare ran a stop sign at the intersection of La. 3127
and La. 70, then swerved to the left, Graham said. The tanker began to
rotate counter-clockwise and struck a utility pole before overturning and
coming to rest in a ditch on the side of La. 70, Graham said. State Police
closed portions of both highways and crews were still working on the cleanup
as of 7:30 p.m., Graham said. Vallare suffered minor injuries was treated
and released from a local hospital, Graham said. Troopers cited him with
careless operation and failure to obey a stop sign, Graham said.
||February 14, 2010
||Aukland, New Zealand
protective suits to tackle a chemical spill in south Auckland on Sunday
morning. Three fire crews, three support vehicles and a hazardous substance
unit, went to business premises in Heritage Way, Flat Bush, just after
11am. They plugged a leak from where 20 litres of sulphuric acid had
spilled, according to Paul Radden, northern fire communications shift
||February 13, 2010
Area firefighters and a county decontamination team were sent to an RIDC
Park company Friday at about 8 a.m. for a leaking tanker. O'Hara
police Superintendent James Farringer said hot, liquid sulfur was leaking
from a tanker that arrived sometime Thursday at Sauereisen Inc. at 160 Gamma
Drive. The company manufactures specialized acid- and
temperature-resistant adhesives, sealants and cements. "No one has
been evacuated and no one is hurt," Farringer said. Allegheny County
911 dispatched Highland Hose of Tarentum and other Alle-Kiski firefighters
with special hazardous materials handling equipment to assist. The
units formed a convoy to reach the industrial park. Sauereisen Vice
President Carl Sauereisen said the leak was contained and was being dealt
with. "Molten sulfur solidifies almost immediately (when it comes in
contact with air), especially in these temperatures," Sauereisen said.
He said the tanker, which doesn't belong to the company, leaked in a
contained area and Sauereisen employees were able to continue work in the
plant. The solid sulfur was to be taken away when it cools, he
said. Molten sulfur can be used in a process to test the strength of
concrete mixes. It also can be used as a bonding mortar on utility poles.
Sauereisen employs about 38 people. The company was founded in 1899 to
make cements used in high-temperature, corrosive or acidic situations.
The company continues to develop new products and ships many of them
overseas, Sauereisen said.
|January 22, 2010
The Ohio State Patrol said traffic resumed to normal around 2 a.m. on
Interstate 75 after an acid leak shut down the highway for nearly 12 hours.
It took about 10 yours for police, fire and hazmat crews to clean up the
sulfuric acid spill that shut down the highway in Harrison Township and
prompted an evacuation. Lt Bill Peck said, “He thought he had a flat
tire and then realized he had spillage in the trailer.” The driver of
the semi pulled over near Needmore Road as he headed north. Then, clouds of
vapor started to appear. Police and fire crews quickly realized that
they had an acid spill and were forced to shut down the highway. Then, they
called in the Dayton Regional Hazardous Materials team. The driver
told authorities that he was hauling three different kinds of acid in the
truck. The acids had already been used in an industrial process and were
headed for proper disposal. According to the driver, there were 40-50
containers in the trailer, some of them 55-gallon drums. Others were 250
plastic containers known as totes. As night fell, workers suited up in
Level A hazmat suits, which provides the biggest protection available and
went into the trailer. The hazmat crew identified the problem as a
leaking tote that had spilled much of its 250 gallons of used sulfuric acid.
They were able to neutralize the material that had spilled on the ground,
putting an end to the vapors that can cause nose, eye, throat and lung
irritation. The decision was then made to take the trailer slowly up
to an exit ramp, transfer the other barrels and totes and take them back to
the plant in West Carrollton, where the came from. Each container will
have to be decontaminated and then reloaded on another truck for disposal.
Workers will look at the plastic container that leaked. A hazmat
supervisor told News Center 7 what the plastic container was made of. Denny
Bristow said, “Polyvinyl, polyethylene-type container. It’s very
thick-walled. It’s not like a gallon milk jug. It’s a very thick plastic.”
Officials said the truck left the Veolia plant in West Carrollton with the
used and contaminated acids and were headed for a disposal site in Michigan
near the Detroit area. Troopers said they do not anticipate that the
driver will face any charges. Firefighters did evacuate Northridge
High School and Timberlane Elementary as a precaution, but there were no
reports of any injuries.
Technical Solutions said it will re-evaluate its procedures following an
acid spill Wednesday, Jan. 20, that shut down traffic on I-75 in both
directions for hours. Denny Bristow, coordinator or the Dayton
Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team, said Thursday that the spill was
caused when a valve from one container cracked another container in the back
of the tractor-trailer rig. Curtis Mabry, spokesman for Veolia, said
the containers of waste acids were loaded and packaged in accordance with
Department of Transportation guidelines, but a review of procedures could
result in changes companywide. Bristow said investigators consider the spill
an accident. He did not expect any fines or citations would be issued.
The spill involved a 300-gallon container of sulfuric acid on a truck loaded
with hydrochloric, sulfuric and phosphoric acids. A cloud from the spill
drifted across I-75 from east to west, causing a potential health hazard.
About 50 employees of a nearby aerospace company’s plant were evacuated for
|January 22, 2010
It could have been a major event earlier this morning no the 401 between
Belleville and Trenton.
A tanker truck carrying sulphuric acid caught fire around 6 on the 401
westbound…east of the Glen Miller Road. Fortunately, the fire started
on the trucks tires, and Quinte West firefighters from Tuckers Corners had
the flames out before they could effect the tank’s contents. Meanwhile..be
warned….traffic is slow on the 401 westbound between Belleville and Trenton,
as only one lane is open as crews continue to clean up the accident scene.
|January 21, 2010
||Houston, Texas, USA
||January 13, 2010
Firefighters were called to contain a sulfuric acid spill at the Darigold
plant. At about 3 p.m. an employee noticed the smell and realized an
acid spill had occurred at the plant, 8424 Depot Road. Lynden Fire
Department crews arrived to find about 15 to 20 gallons of sulfuric acid
spilled out of one of the plant's warehouses, said Chief Gary Baar. A
cracked pipe or valve had led to the spill, which seeped out of the
warehouse and onto the road. The spill was caught and contained with
sandbags before any acid got into the city's sewer or stormwater drains.
No one was injured in the spill, and there was no threat to neighboring
businesses, Baar said. Local Darigold representatives did not return
calls about the spill. According to the Darigold Web site, the Lynden plant
was built in the 1920s and has been producing dried-milk products since the
|January 9, 2010
The cars and transport vehicles plying between Dutywa and Mthatha on the N2
freeway were compelled to take a different route after an incident of toxic
spillage. A part of the road was closed after a truck carrying large amount
of sulfuric acid developed a leak. The incident took place in the wee hours
of the morning. Tshepo Machaea, the Arrive Alive provincial spokesperson
said that the acid was highly corrosive. It could pose serious threat tote
cars and motorists had they come close to it. The administration did not
want to take any chances after 4 vehicles plying on the road after the
spillage took place got damaged. In fact several parts of those vehicles
were damaged along with the tyres. Later mechanics were called to help out
acid got spilled over 4 km on the road. Even the grass at the roadside
started changing color, such was the strength of the acid. Around 15
cleaners were deployed in the area to make the road usable again. They used
a material known as road lime to neutralize the acid. Tshepo Machaea said
that at least one lane of the road can be opened to traffic and the
motorists would be able to use it. Superintendent Mzukisi Fatyela, a police
spokesperson said that people living in adjacent areas were told to keep
their kids away to avoid any mishap.
The residents were also advised to keep their pest away from the road.
Luckily the spillage did not cause any injury or accident as it was spotted
early. By the end of Saturday the cleaning is likely to be over.
||January 9, 2010
A mining accident nearly took the life of a valley man Saturday. A
worker fell into some sulfuric acid while working in Globe. The man
was hit in the chest by a 500-pound pipe, and fell backwards into a tank of
sulfuric acid used to clean metals. The unidentified worker fell
backward into runoff from a leaching operation that contained a very low
amount of sulfuric acid. The man was airlifted to Maricopa
Medical Center, and while being transported, the flight crew complained of
burns to their hands. About 20 firefighters set up a hazardous
materials unit at the hospital when the medical helicopter landed.
"We're monitoring not only the situation and the byproducts of that
chemical, but we are also watching the staff as they treat this patient,"
says Phoenix Fire Dept. Capt. Jonathan Jacobs. They were able to
contain the hazardous material, and the victim remains in critical
|November 23, 2009
A Norfolk Southern freight train carrying sulfuric acid derailed early
Sunday morning in Gilbert. The incident prompted authorities to issue
voluntary evacuations in the surrounding area. Around 5:10 a.m.
Sunday, the Norfolk Southern freight train left the tracks near Isiah Hall
Road and Hayes Crossing Road. Officials say the train had two
locomotives and ten cars. Eight of the ten cars derailed. Six
rolled on their side, including a tanker full of sulfuric acid.
Railroad officials say the train was going from Linwood, North Carolina to
Savannah, Georgia. There were no injuries reported. "The concern that
we have is the integrity of the tank itself. It's a double-walled tanker,"
says Thom Berry, a spokesperson for the State Department of Health and
Environmental Control. "There are some creases on the outside of the tank
and so far it hasn't leaked." After visual and thermal inspections, no
leaks were detected on the overturned tanker. He says that the car is back
on the track and will be headed to the Norfolk Southern rail yard sometime
|November 13, 2009
One person died and 37 others sustained injuries after a trailer loaded with
Sulphuric acid collided with a bus in Salgaa along the Nakuru-Eldoret
highway. The two vehicles were reduced to shells after they caught
fire on impact. According to Nakuru Provincial General Hospital
Superintendent George Muganya, 27 people sustained minor injuries while 9
suffered chemical burns. Three of the survivors are in critical condition
|November 9, 2009
||Fire crews expect to
spend the day cleaning up leaked battery acid on a container ship in
Melbourne. The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) says a worker noticed a
strange smell coming from one of the containers when it was unloaded in
Coode Road, just after 5:00am this morning. More than 100 litres of the
chemical spilled inside a container and on the ship. Commander Frank
Besanko says cranes will be used to move forty containers. "Once we get the
containers off the ship, then we'll be able to get to the area on the deck
of the ship, because the container that had the battery acid, leaked down
amongst these other containers," he said. "We've got to neutralise all the
other containers that were in the vicinity and also neutralise the sulphuric
acid on the deck of the ship."
|November 6, 2009
||A tractor trailer
accident yesterday caused a diesel spill and a morning rush hour delay for
many people on their way to work and school. The truck veered off of
Highway 43 in the Dunn community. According to the WDXE website, the
Lawrenceburg Fire Department’s Haz-Mat responded to the scene. Luckily, the
only thing that needed to be cleaned up was the diesel spill. Fire Chief Don
Kelly told WDXE that it could have been a lot worse if the truck spilled its
load of sulfuric acid it was hauling.
||October 26, 2009
||Chevron Corp. said
it had a molten sulfur leak from a pipeline while a barge was being loaded
with it at the marine terminal of its 330,000-barrel-per-day Pascagoula,
Mississippi, refinery. "We had a leak of elemental sulfur from a pipeline.
We were loading a barge at the refinery when this occurred," said Steve
Renfroe, a refinery spokesman, referring to the Sunday morning incident.
"We stopped loading and we are repairing the line and are in the process of
retrieving the sulfur," he added. Renfroe declined to comment on whether
production at the refinery was impacted, citing company policy. He said
initial reports that about four tons of sulfur may have leaked into Bayou
Casotte in Mississippi were overstated. "We believe it's much less than
that," Renfroe added. The cause of the leak was under investigation, he
A spokesman for Chevron’s Pascagoula Refinery said Tuesday that nobody was
injured from fumes or heat when about four tons of molten sulfur spilled
from a pipeline Sunday into the water of Bayou Casotte. There were
people in the operating area, but nobody was in the immediate vicinity of
the spill. Steve Renfroe, spokesman for the refinery, said that
workers involved in loading the barges have protective equipment for that
part of the refinery’s operation. Sulfur is a byproduct of refining
crude oil and Chevron sells it for several uses, including fertilizer. It
pipes molten sulfur from the refinery to barges at the company docks on
Bayou Casotte for shipping. At about 11 a.m. Sunday, the pipeline
leaked what the company estimated to be four tons of the molten material
into the bayou. Renfroe said the material is dense, so that amount is
equal to about two cubic yards. He said on Tuesday that the pipeline
is repaired and back in operation. The molten sulfur turned to a solid
when it hit the water, he said, and sank to the bottom of the bayou. He said
the company had divers on the scene Tuesday and plans to remove the hardened
material from the bayou. “We’re preparing to send divers to
investigate the bottom,” he said. “It’s our intention to remove any sulfur
that we can find.” Robbie Wilbur, spokesman for the state Department
of Environmental Quality, said the DEQ did not go to the spill on Sunday,
but contacted Chevron by phone. “Chevron will send us an accidental
release report in a letter. We’re waiting on that,” Wilbur said. He
said the material spilled “is not hazardous to wildlife or fish or people.”
But the company must clean up the spilled sulfur as it impacts the waters of
the state, he said.
|October 10, 2009
About 3 tons of concentrated sulfuric acid leaked from a truck on Thursday
morning in Pingdu City, Shandong Province, after a crash involving a bus and
a tricycle. The truck, carrying 18 tons of the chemical, rolled over in the
collision at a junction at about 5am, Qingdao Morning News reported
yesterday. Six people were injured by either the crash or the acid, the
report said. Firefighters took about six hours to clean sulfuric acid from
the road and neutralize and dilute 2 tons of the chemical which had spilled
into a nearby construction site.
|October 2, 2009
||Highway 15 at Range
Road 22 will be closed until midnight while crews clean up a sulphuric acid
spill. Strathcona RCMP said a tanker truck carrying sulphuric acid collided
with another vehicle around 5:50 a.m. Crews have been on scene since
cleaning up the spilled liquid. Nobody was seriously injured in the crash.
A police investigation is underway.
||September 23, 2009
||Saint John, New
||No one was hurt when
a fire broke out today in a molten sulphur tank at the Irving pulp and paper
mill in Saint John, N.B. Fire crews arrived just before noon and are still
at the scene monitoring the temperature of the tank and for vapours.
District fire Chief Mark Gillian says the fire started when a contractor was
installing industrial insulation around the tank. He was finishing up when
dust around the tank ignited.
|September 23, 2009
||State police say the
eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 near LaPlace have been shut down because of
an accident involving a tractor-trailer rig. A fire was reported as a
result of the Wednesday morning accident and traffic near mile marker 203
was being diverted. The crash involved two 18-wheelers and a car. One
injury has been reported. "According to Louisiana State Police, Interstate
10 East near LaPlace is completely shut down to traffic. Trooper Russell
Graham said traffic was being diverted at the Gramercy exit," according to
WAFB in Baton Rouge. "Troopers said Airline Hwy is getting backed up due to
all of the traffic using it as a detour route. "One of the semi-trucks
carried sulfuric acid, which must be off-loaded before the truck can be
||September 13, 2009
Jamaican authorities say 300 tons (270 metric tons) of sulfuric acid have
spilled into the sea near the world's seventh-largest natural harbor. The
island's emergency management agency says the spill originated from a
container at Port Bustamente in Kingston Harbor, where mostly cargo ships
dock. The agency said in a news release Saturday that police are
investigating the spill, which happened late Friday. Officials say the
waters near the harbor and Greenwich Town Fishing Beach are still highly
acidic and advised people to avoid swimming or fishing in the area.
September 15, 2009
The National Environment and Planning Agency
(NEPA) has served a Breach Notice on the management of Industrial Chemical
Company (ICC) Jamaica Limited, in relation to Saturday's (September 12)
Sulfuric Acid spill at the company's storage facility close to the Greenwich
Town Fishing Village, Marcus Garvey Drive, Kingston. In a release
tonight, NEPA said that, under the terms of the Breach Notice, ICC has 30
days in which to construct a bund (embankment or dyke) at the facility.
Additionally, the Agency says it will be taking further action against ICC,
under the Natural Resources Conservation Act and the Wildlife Protection
Act. NEPA, in partnership with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and
Emergency Management (ODPEM), the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the Marine Police
has all but completed its investigations into the spill, which has affected
residents and fishing in and around the fishing village, which borders West
Kingston and South West St. Andrew. "Tests have shown that the pH
level of the ambient water quality in the area is returning to normal. Both
surface water and water taken from a depth of three metres were tested by
NEPA's laboratory staff," the NEPA release said. "There are still
residues of the acid in the soil, along the path the material took to the
sea. There is a concern that a period of heavy rain could wash out the
sediment into the marine environment. If there is no rainfall in the area,
the land is expected to be rehabilitated within the next four weeks.
However, NEPA is unable to say whether such a washout will have any
significant impact on the marine environment. "Based on laboratory
tests, there is no evidence to prevent the resumption of all activities in
and around the area affected by the acid spill. ICC is expected to submit a
report to NEPA by Tuesday, September 15, 2009." NEPA also
reported that it has convened a four-member team to complete a quick-scan of
the coastline along the Kingston Harbour, to identify those enterprises
which conduct trade in hazardous substances. Once the scan is completed, the
enterprises will be directed to apply for permits for the relevant
July 28, 2009
Management at DuPont Co.'s chemical plant in Belle waited more than two days
before reporting a toxic material leak to state and local authorities last
week, government and company officials confirmed Tuesday. The leak of
sulfur trioxide started at 11 a.m. on July 22, but was not reported to the
state until 4:36 p.m. on July 24, according to state Environmental
Protection and Homeland Security officials. No injuries were reported,
and DuPont officials described the leak as a minor incident. "It
was essentially a non-event when you get right down to it," said DuPont
Plant Manager Bill Menke. "Normally, we wouldn't have said anything."
The leak occurred in a sulfuric acid production unit that was the subject of
a major federal enforcement action. In April, DuPont agreed to pay $2
million in fines for not upgrading pollution-control technology when the
company added equipment to increase production. Kanawha County
Commission President Kent Carper said he was shocked that DuPont did not
report the incident, especially given the public furor over Bayer
CropScience's withholding of information about the fatal explosion and fire
at its Institute plant in August 2008. Initially, DuPont
officials estimated the leak at 300 to 400 pounds of sulfur trioxide.
Federal law requires companies to immediately notify federal, state and
local officials of leaks of 100 pounds or more of sulfur trioxide.
Menke said the company later downgraded its estimate of the leak's size to
about 18 pounds -- an amount that would not kick in the required
notifications to government agencies.
Last week's incident occurred in the Belle plant's "SAR" unit, where
sulfuric acid is produced by burning spent sulfuric acid to form sulfur
dioxide. The sulfur dioxide is then converted to sulfur trioxide, and then
to sulfuric acid. The unit had recently been shut down, and had just
started back up when a two- to three-inch hole was discovered in a duct on
the unit when workers saw "puffs" of sulfur trioxide coming out of it. "It
was puffing intermittently," Menke said. Company officials attached an
"elephant trunk" hose to capture the leaking material and funnel it back
into the SAR unit, Menke said. The goal was to control the leak until the
unit could be shut down for repairs, he said.
But the shutdown didn't occur for 18 hours. And, Menke said, it is unlikely
that the "elephant trunk" caught all of the sulfur trioxide that may have
leaked from the hole. "Did the elephant trunk capture 100 percent of
that material? The answer is likely not," Menke said. Menke said that
it was not safe to shut down the unit right away for repairs. "It
takes a little time to actually de-pressure and turn it down," Menke said.
"There would have been production to be sure we had the facility in line."
Menke said he was personally aware of the incident the day it began, but did
not think to call government authorities. After the unit was shut
down, Menke said, a plant environmental official asked for a calculation of
the size of the leak. That produced the initial estimate of 300 to 400
pounds, Menke said. Based on those figures, DuPont then notified state
and local authorities late in the afternoon on July 24, a Friday. U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency officials said that neither they nor the
National Response Center were notified. DuPont officials quickly
realized that estimate did not take into account any material captured by
the "elephant trunk." A rough recalculation then produced the 18-pound
estimate, Menke said. So, they called back state and local officials with
the lower estimate, he said. Jesse Adkins, assistant chief for
enforcement at the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Air
Quality, said his agency is waiting for a written report from DuPont before
considering further action.
||July 1, 2009
||Two Montana Rail
Link employees are in the hospital after being splashed with sulfuric acid.
The Laurel Police Department says they responded to the MRL yard office, off
Shannon Road, around 9:30 Tuesday night. Officer Stan Langve says employees
were in the process of switching cars that were connected and one tanker
splashed sulfuric acid on the two workers. An ambulance took the two to a
|June 19, 2009
log truck collision with a Canadian National freight train in Perry County
damaged nearly a dozen box cars and tankers filled with molten sulfur.
However, there were no injuries were reported. Mississippi Highway 198 was
blocked for several hours after the collision occurred around 11:45 a.m.
Thursday. Michael Pol, assistant to Southern District Commissioner Wayne
Brown, said he lives near the scene of the accident and arrived shortly
after the collision. "There was a truck coming south across the tracks and
he must have failed to yield to the train," he said. Pol said he contacted
the Mississippi Department of Transportation rails division to report the
incident. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality assisted in
the cleanup of debris and spillage from tankers, Pol said. Molten sulfur is
not toxic unless it catches fire, emitting an acrid smoke, Pol said. A rail
crossing signal mast also was damaged in the incident.
June 17, 2009
|A sulfuric acid
spill at Macomb's water plant late Wednesday night never reached the city's
water supply, Public Works Director Walter Burnett said Thursday. Macomb
firefighters were called to the city's water plant, in Glenwood Park, just
before 10 p.m. Wednesday. Most of the park was then sealed off to the
public. The spill caused no injuries and did not affect the water-treatment
process, officials said. Burnett said an automatic shut-off valve
malfunctioned on a tank that holds 39 percent sulfuric acid, spilling about
400 gallons of acid used in the water treatment process. "The automatic
shut-off didn't shut off," Burnett said. Firefighters were at the treatment
plant for about five hours Wednesday night and Thursday morning. In
addition to the Macomb department, firefighters from Emmet Chalmers were
called in to help at the scene and to help man the Macomb station in the
case of any additional emergency calls. The hazardous materials teams from
the Galesburg and Canton fire departments also were called in. The tank
that spilled is used by water plant employees during the day to mix the acid
into the city's water supply. Burnett said the acid is a "pH balancer" for
the water. To counteract the acid, firefighters, dressed in fully sealed
hazardous materials suits, covered it with powdered lime. Most of the acid
was found in the room where the reverse osmosis process is handled as well
as an adjacent electrical room. A small amount went out a back door but was
contained. The two rooms have been sealed off, and city workers were
allowed back in the building at about 3 a.m. Thursday. Burnett said the
cleanup will including shoveling up the lime-covered acid, bagging it,
putting it in a barrel and transporting it to an approved hazardous waste
disposal site. A cleanup team from Peoria arrived at the water plant at
about 3 a.m. Thursday to begin that process. The only damage to the water
treatment plant, Burnett said, was blistering on the paint on the floor.
McDonough County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency Coordinator Dan
Kreps said the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois
Emergency Management Agency were notified of the spill. Burnett said
Thursday he didn't anticipate the IEPA would visit the plant because it was
not a treatment violation.
||June 12, 2009
||A sulfuric acid leak
on Friday at the Renewable Environmental Solutions plant in Carthage
prompted Carthage Fire Chief John Cooper to prepare for to evacuate homes in
the area of the plant, but no evacuation was necessary. Cooper said a tank
containing residual sulfuric acid started leaking this morning. The acid
was left over from when the plant was operational. Cooper said Carthage
police officers were available to evacuate homes in the city around the
plant and Jasper County Sheriff’s deputies were on standby to evacuate homes
in the county. The county’s new reverse 911 system was also put on
standby. One of the big fears was that an approaching rain shower might
spread the sulfuric acid into nearby Spring River, but Cooper said crews
managed to contain the leak and none of the acid escaped the dyke
surrounding the plant. Firefighters and officers cleared the scene at
approximately 11:45 a.m.
||June 1, 2009
A chemical leak at Vale Inco smelter facility in Copper Cliff, Ont., near
Sudbury, has been downgraded to a Level 1 emergency, which means the
incident did not have any impact off-site and there is no threat to the
environment or to the general public. The leak has been stopped and
isolated to one area in the facility, according to Ontario's Ministry of
Environment spokesperson Kate Jordan. A chemical called Oleum, similar to
sulphuric an acid, was leaking. In response to the leak, Inco
initiated an emergency response protocol shortly before noon Monday. A
bulletin, alerting area residents to stay indoors and to turn off furnaces
and air conditioners was sent to residents living near the plant.
Staff at the Ministry of Environment are on standby, waiting for the area to
be declared safe.
|May 18, 2009
say four cars carrying sulfuric acid and ethanol that are derailed in Hermon
don't pose a danger to the public because none of the liquid has leaked.
The cars from Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railway derailed about 8 o'clock
yesterday morning behind LMS Transportation. That's in an industrial park
off Cold Brook Road in Hermon. John Schultz, the vice president of
transportation with the railroad company, says crews continue to make
repairs to get the cars back on track. Three of them contain sulfuric acid,
one has ethanol. A hazardous materials team is on site, too, while workers
off-load acid from two of the cars to make the job easier. The Hermon fire
department is also on the scene as a precaution. Schultz says the train was
on its way to customers in Searsport when the cars left the track. He says
the cause is under investigation and the re-railing work should be done by
||May 4, 2009
||A contract worker
was flown from a Kennecott smelter to University Hospital on Monday morning
after he suffered sulfuric acid burns on his neck and arms. The man was
using a vacuum system to load acid into a tanker around 10:15 a.m. when some
of the liquid escaped, said Kennecott spokeswoman Jana Kettering. She did
not have further details on how the acid seeped out. The man, who works for
North American Industrial Services, was wearing protective gear, including
clothing to guard his body, face, eyes and head, Kettering said. "But some
acid still made contact with the skin," she said, adding that the contractor
suffered burns on his wrist and neck. The man received immediate medical
attention, including a decontamination shower. He was flown to University
Hospital, where he was treated and later released.
||April 27, 2009
Emergency Responders, along with a cleanup crew from REACT Environmental
Services, Philadelphia, are on the site of a hazardous spill that
occurred Monday. A tractor-trailer tanker enroute from Sunoco Marcus Hook
traveling to the DuPont Red Lion facility on Del. Route 9 spilled an unknown
quantity of sulfuric acid onto River Road between Hamburg Road and Governor
Lea Boulevard near Delaware City. The incident happened at about 11:40
a.m.; DelDOT closed Del. Rt. 9 between Del. 72 at Hamburg Road.DNREC
responders and environmental protection officers are investigating the
incident. The road is expected to be closed for at least several more hours
to allow the cleanup crew to safely remove any remaining residue from the
spill from the roadway and until DelDOT determines the road is safe to open.
||April 27, 2009
||Plant City, Florida
||Three workers are
being treated for injuries after a scaffolding collapse outside Tampa.
Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 2 p.m. at C.F.
Industries in Plant City, a phosphate fertilizer facility about 30 miles
east of Tampa. A company official says the employees were doing maintenance
work on an 8-foot-high platform inside a processing vessel when it gave way
and tossed them off their feet. C.F. Industries say the workers were not
trapped and appear to have non-life threatening injuries. They were taken to
area hospitals. Three had serious injuries. The third has minor injuries.
The company says the employees are contractors, and plans to investigate
what caused the collapse.
|April 9, 2009
June 3, 2010 - The Colombo High Court today imposed a fine Rs 10 million on
a captain of a Turkish vessel for releasing sulphuric acid into the
territorial waters of Sri Lanka in Trincomalee. Senior State
Counsel Riaz Hamza appearing on behalf of the State complained that the
accused Sir Sidath, the Captain of the vessel "M T Grand of Turkey" had
released the hazardous chemical into the Sri Lanka Waters from April 5 to 9,
2009. The Accused pleaded guilty for the charge and consequently
the High Court imposed a fine of Rs 10 million on the captain of the vessel.
In default of the payment of the fine, the accused was sentenced to one year
Sri Lanka government is to
take legal action against the Turkey Shipping Company, the owners of the
sunken tanker with a load of sulphuric acid off Trincomalee Harbour.
Ranjith Kularatne, Chairman of the Marine Environmental Protection Authority
said the legal action would be taken due to the marine pollution caused by
the sulphuric acid leaked to the sea from the tanker. Necessary reports are
being compiled in this regard, he said. According to the Marine
Environmental Protection Authority the ship, 'MV Grand Bar' finally sank 90
nautical miles off Trincomalee after the Navy managed to tow the vessel to
the deep sea. The Navy confirmed that it went down at a depth of 3,000
meters of the sea. The tanker carrying 6,250 metric tons of sulphuric
acid was plying from Tuticorin to Kakinadan in India when it developed
troubles on Monday, April 6. The ship's crew of 19 had been rescued by the
Sri Lanka Navy after the ship was crippled 8 kms off Foul Point in
Trincomalee. Naval personnel boarded the tanker found that its cargo tanks
were damaged and the Sulphuric Acid was leaking into the ballast tanks.
The 19-member crew of the
Turkish tanker that sank off Sri Lanka is to return to Turkey next week.
The Turkish Transportation Ministry said that the crew would depart Sri
Lanka for Turkey on April 14, news agency reports said. The
Turkish-flagged chemical tanker had been abandoned by its crew off the
eastern Sri Lankan port of Trincomalee after its cargo of sulphuric acid
began leaking last weekend. Later the Navy and the Sri Lanka Ports
Authority vessels towed the tanker further out onto the high seas to prevent
marine pollution near the coast. The tanker sank totally 50
miles off Trincomalee port on Wednesday midnight.
The crew of a Turkish tanker
that sunk off Sri Lanka will return to Turkey next week, officials of the
Turkish Transportation Ministry said on Friday. Nineteen crew members
of a Turkish-flagged tanker that sunk off Sri Lanka the previous day would
depart Sri Lanka for Turkey on April 14, the officials were quoted by the
semi-official Anatolia news agency. A Turkish-flagged chemical tanker
"GRANBA" started to sink off Sri Lanka on Monday after the sulfuric acid it
was carrying melted the tanks. Sri Lankan authorities evacuated
Turkish crew members from the tanker, and the crew were in stable condition
and staying at a hotel near the port. The tanker totally sank 50 miles
off Trincomalee port the previous day.
|April 3, 2009
||Workers are trying
to clean up sulfur that spilled when a tractor-trailer overturned on U.S.
Highway 6 in central Utah. The wreck occurred near the lines of Carbon and
Utah counties and is not obstructing traffic, said Utah Highway Patrol
Trooper Cameron Roden. The rig ran off the road about 1:15 a.m. Friday,
spilling the sulfur into a gorge. Roden said the terrain is making it
difficult to retrieve the tractor-trailer and the sulfur. The truck's
driver escaped injury.
|March 9, 2009
The Detroit Fire Department is overseeing a chemical spill clean-up after an
undetermined amount of sulfur dioxide leaked from a railroad car today in
southwest Detroit. The 10:30 a.m. leak happened at a city wastewater
treatment plant, 9300 W. Jefferson, just west of Zug Island, Detroit Fire
spokeswoman Katrina Butler said. “The railcar had a leak in it,”
Butler said. “How it happened, they don’t know. It didn’t hit anything.”
The leak was so small the city’s health department, which responds to
incidents that could affect the health of area residents, was not involved,
she added. The car was carrying about 90 tons of sulfur dioxide, but
it was unclear how much leaked out, Butler said. A professional chemical
handling company was overseeing the transfer of the remaining sulfur dioxide
to another railcar this afternoon, she said.
|March 6, 2009
freight train car carrying molten sulfur derailed and sprung a leak
Saturday, dribbling stinking orange-and-yellow goop into Bayou Plaquemine
and prompting evacuation of more than 100 people from a nearby motel.
Nobody was hurt. The five cars that derailed were near the rear of a 67-car
train that was going 16 mph at the time of the accident and itcluded four of
the 12 empty cars, Union Pacific Corp. spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza said.
She said Union Pacific railroad and the Federal Railroad Administration are
None of the train cars fell into the bayou just inside Iberville Parish; the
only one carrying cargo was the leaking car, which was upright on the
bridge, Cain said. He said much of the sulfur -- the chemical which gives
rotten eggs their stink -- was solidifying on the bridge and bank; any of it
that hit the water would solidify more rapidly and fall to the bottom.
The sulfur car was 51st in line. Two empty cars just in front of the sulfur
car tumbled onto the bank, and two just behind it remained upright, she
|February 15, 2009
||An overturned tanker
truck loaded with acid forced traffic to be diverted onto side roads while
crews worked to clear the wreckage on Interstate 20 near Minden. The driver
remained trapped in the wreckage for almost three hours while crews from the
Minden Fire Department struggled to free him. Webster Parish Sheriff Gary
Sexton says it was delicate operation to lift the mangled cab off the
victim, "You had two lines going to have to pick the truck up. If you'd
lifted to onside or the other, it would have crushed the guy. So the rescue
personnel were being extremely cautious." Sexton says 55 year old David
Yeager of El Dorado had acid burns on his head, but was talking to rescue
workers and was airlifted to LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, in serious
but stable condition. The truck was headed from Shreveport to El Dorado,
Arkansas with about 3800 gallons of sulphuric acid. Some of the acid leaked
out spreading fumes into the air. There were no evacuations of homes or
business. The breezy day quicikly dispersed those potentially dangerous
fumes. Sexton says, "The wind's kind of in our favor today. If it would
have been a still day and a light breeze we might have had some problems."
|February 15, 2009
||San Bernardino, CA
Eight cars from a Union Pacific freight train derailed early Saturday near
West Rialto Avenue and South Macy Street in San Bernardino. The 12:30
a.m. incident involved three box cars carrying soda ash and five tanker cars
that previously carried sulfuric acid, San Bernardino Fire Department
spokesman Steve Tracy said by phone. "It was an interesting call with
a large potential for hazards, but fortunately it was a low-speed
derailment, so we really lucked out," Tracy said. "I can assure you not at
any time were any residents in danger." Two containers of soda ash
spilled during the derailment as the train traveled northeast, Union Pacific
spokeswoman Zoe Richmond said by phone. Soda ash is used in making soap
powders, glass and paper. The track is near a BNSF Railway line used
by Metrolink. None of the double-walled freight cars were breached,
Tracy said. The rail line has an estimated 200-foot right of way, with homes
and mobile homes nearby. The train cars were marked with placards
indicating the nature of the loads, and fire officials were able to quickly
find out details from Union Pacific. "They let us know those sulfuric
acid cars were empty," Tracy said, with at most a residual of 10 to 15
gallons each. There also is a Kinder Morgan fuel-transport pipeline
adjacent to the railroad. Union Pacific contacted Kinder Morgan, and the
line was shut down as a precaution, Tracy said. The train cars
stretched from Mill Street on the north to about a quarter-mile south of
Rialto Avenue. Union Pacific's Richmond said the 80-car train
was 4,461-feet long. The cleanup was expected to be finished Saturday
|January 17, 2009
southbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train carrying molten sulfur
derailed about 11:45 p.m. in Littleton. Three of the 17 cars involved in
the derailment leaked about 100 gallons of liquid sulfur that quickly
solidified in the cold air, said Gus Melonas, BNSF spokesman. Two cars fell
onto their sides and 15 were leaning. Neither of the two crew members was
harmed, Melonas said. The freight tracks could be repaired and running by
this afternoon, he added. No one was evacuated because the spill was not a
|January 13, 2009
||El Dorado, Arkansas
18-wheeler loaded with sulfuric acid overturned at approximately 8:30 a.m.
Monday on U.S. 63 near Old Union, spilling several hundred gallons of the
hazardous chemical onto the westbound shoulder of the highway, according to
the Union County Office of Emergency Management. The truck, owned by the
Groendyke Transport Co., was traveling eastbound at the time of the
accident. The driver was taken to the Medical Center of South Arkansas in El
Dorado for non-life threatening injuries.
|January 3, 2009
officers are working to save remote wetlands from a serious chemical spill
after a truck rolled outside Kakadu National Park. About 6000 litres of
sulphuric acid poured onto the Arnhem Land Highway near the turn-off to Fogg
Dam Conservation Reserve, 100 kilometres from the entrance to the
heritage-listed national park. The spill is believed to be one of the
largest recorded and there are concerns about the effect on surrounding
wetlands. John Woinarski, the Northern Territory Government's acting
executive director of environment, heritage and the arts, said work was
under way to neutralise the spilt acid, which covers an area about 50 metres
long and three metres wide. "There is no threat to wetlands in Kakadu
National Park and Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve," he said. "The spilt
product is being neutralised and it is expected that this will be completed
shortly. "The product is quite viscous and does not mobilise readily,
making containment effective. "Environmental officers will remain on site
until we are satisfied that all actions have been effective in protecting
the surrounding environment and community." The rear trailer on the road
train — headed for the Ranger uranium mine located in the middle of Kakadu —
overturned on Thursday evening. The acid is hazardous to touch or breathe
in. Its spill has prompted calls for a review of the transport of dangerous
liquids through wetland wilderness areas. Friends of Fogg Dam president
Heather Boulden told ABC Radio in Darwin: "It would be very difficult to
clean up, I'm sure, and in a wetland I would imagine there is huge potential
for it to spread over a vast area." Ms Boulden said there could be serious
ramifications for birdlife if the acid seeped into the water supply.
Police are investigating the accident.
|December 26, 2008
hazardous materials cleanup crews are on the scene of a tanker truck
accident that killed the driver at Steels Corners and Akron-Peninsula roads.
The vehicle was carrying sulfuric acid, and work is now beginning to remove
the substance from the terrain, said Mark Williamson, spokesman for the city
Akron Police have closed Akron-Peninsula Road at the Steels Corners Road
intersection, and Akron-Peninsula Road is shut down about "a half mile" in
each direction, said Williamson. He added he expects the roads to be closed
"most of the day."
Williamson said the vehicle was found in a wooded area near the intersection
of Steels Corners and Akron-Peninsula roads at 7:20 a.m. He added it is not
known when the accident happened, but noted the tanker had been traveling
west on Steels Corners, went through the Akron-Peninsula Road intersection
and into the wooded area.
Information is not available on the driver's identity. There was no one else
in the vehicle.
He said sulfuric acid is "leaking slowly" from the tanker. Once a second
tanker is brought in, the substance will be siphoned into that vehicle, said
December 6, 2008
A tanker truck carrying sulphuric acid has rolled off the Bruce Highway in
central Queensland forcing emergency crews to impose a 250m exclusion zone
to contain leaking acid. It is understood both tanks on the B-double
tanker were leaking and that the truck came to rest beside the road in long
grass. Emergency services have evacuated the area on the Bruce Highway
north of Bloomsbury, which includes a couple of farmhouses, due to
inhalation concerns. Firefighters from Mackay and Proserpine were on
the scene and attempting to contain the leaks. The truck driver, who
was out of the vehicle when emergency crews arrived, was taken to Proserpine
Hospital with minor injuries. Paramedics remained on standby at the
December 1, 2008
tanker truck, carrying molten sulphur, overturned and caught fire on Ohio 65
near Cairo this morning.
Allen County safety forces and fire departments have been sent to the scene
where there have been injuries reported.
No details are immediately available, however. The accident happened about
9:30 this morning. Fire
departments from Beaverdam, Cairo and Bath Township were called to the
scene, where smoke can be seen from nearby U-S 30. Hazardous materials
rescue crews and others from American Electric Power are also on site.
Ohio 65 traffic has been detoured.
November 14, 2008
Two people were killed and four others were injured in an explosion that
sank two ships, causing one to leak concentrated sulfuric acid at a dock
yesterday in Hangzhou City, capital of Zhejiang Province.
protection workers are trying to clean up the acid leak as one of the ships
was transporting 250 tons of the chemical, Xinhua news agency reported today.
The explosion occurred on a docked ship about 7:50am in Tangqi Township,
Yuhang District. The blast caused it and a nearby ship loaded with acid to
sink, the report said.
Nearby residents and factory workers were evacuated to safety yesterday.
Maritime affairs authorities are investigating the cause of the explosion.
The dock was shut yesterday afternoon after the explosion and the priority
is to clean up the concentrated sulfuric acid as quickly as possible,’’ Chen
Guoqing, vice director of Yuhang District Transport Bureau, told Xinhua.
We will also salvage
the sunken ships.
Yuhang District Environment Protection Office officials said they had used
liquid caustic soda to neutralize the polluted water and were monitoring
As of 11pm last night,
the water quality on the whole was normal,’’ they were quoted as saying.
Though the water
around the explosion site is still partially acidic.
The two who died were on the ship that exploded while the injured were on
ships nearby. Three of the injured are being treated at Yuhang District
Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital and are in stable condition while the
other has already been discharged, the report said.
|November 10, 2008
Fire Service Northern Communications shift manager Colin Underdown said the
accident happened on State Highway 12 between Ruawai and Dargaville, about 1
km south of the Tokotoka Tavern, about 6.30am today. Four pumping
appliances and a hazardous materials unit were at the scene as well as
members of the Northland Hazardous Substances Technical Liaison Committee.
Mr Underdown said there was no word at this stage about any environmental
contamination. He did not have any information on the dangers involved
in such an acid spill on the road. Sulphuric acid can boil and spit
dangerously when added to water. Sue Phipps from police northern
communications said there was a "hell mess all over the road", but also
there was no indication that there was any danger to the environment or the
road. Two truck loads of sand and a crane were needed at the scene,
she said. The driver of the truck suffered minor injuries. Road
diversions were in place and it could be a couple of hours before the road
was open again.
Emergency services and hazardous chemical experts are unhappy that an
Auckland company's specialist recovery unit took eight hours to arrive at a
serious acid spill on a Northland road. Northland Regional Council hazardous
substances manager Jerry Nelson said he felt the company was
"under-prepared" and its response WAS "very slow". The lack of personal
protection equipment for its workers was also a concern. "I'm astounded that
people would be involved in decanting sulphuric acid without proper
equipment ... I will be writing to Jascol regarding the matter," he said.
October 31, 2008
Umkomaas, South Africa
section of the Sappi Saiccor plant in Umkomaas, south of Durban, has been
shut down following a gas leak earlier in the week, the plant's chief
executive Alan Tubb said on Friday. We hope to find the root cause of the
problem soon and until then it will remain closed," he said. A team of
environmental experts was expected to investigate why 48 people were exposed
to toxic sulphur dioxide gas. Khulekani Ntshangase, spokesperson for the
agriculture and environmental affairs department said on Friday they would
have to determine whether the leak was an accident or the result of human
error. "We have also told the plant that they need to give us a report on
the incident within 14 days. Then once we determine whether the leak was an
accident or caused by human error, we will decide whether to penalise them
or not," he said. Sappi, a global producer of coated fine paper and
chemical cellulose, confirmed that 34 mill employees and 14 residents were
affected by a sulphur dioxide leak in the plant's newly commissioned
pipeline on Tuesday night. The employees were treated at the mill's
hospital and discharged. The affected residents were assessed at GJ Crookes
hospital in Scottburgh. They were discharged the same night. Sappi general
manager Gary Bowles said technicians at the mill were able to isolate the
malfunctioning pipeline. He gave assurances that precautions would be taken
to prevent further emissions. "The mill has procedures in place to deal
with eventualities of this nature on a priority basis, and we were able to
contain the leak promptly," he said, adding that the incident was regretted.
October 30, 2008
Clifton, Arizona, USA
Police in Clifton Arizona, near the Arizona/New Mexico border, are working
on containing a sulfuric acid spill.
Emergency crews have built up burms to keep the acid from spreading outside
of a creek in the middle of town.
The acid come from the freeport mine.
If the emergency crews can not contain the spill it could flow into the San
Francisco river that feeds in to the Gila River.
Currently there are not any evacuation orders or problems with drinking
water throughout the state.
October 24, 2008
Charleston, West Virginia, USA
DuPont Co. officials said this afternoon that they had contained a small
leak of concentrated sulfuric acid from their chemical plant in Belle. The
leak from a flange was discovered at about 11:30 a.m. in a half-inch
sampling pipe in unit that recovers sulfuric acid as part of the plant's
acrylics production process, said DuPont site manager Bill Menke. "It was
just a drip type of leak," Menke said. Menke estimated that only an ounce
or two of concentrated sulfuric acid, called oleum, was released. But when
the material hits air, it generates fumes that created a grayish cloud in
the area, Menke said. Crews used water to try to limit the fumes.
October 24, 2008
Lewiston, Idaho, USA
people were injured in a crash involving a pickup and a semi hauling liquid
sulfur on the Lewiston Hill Friday afternoon. It happened at about
1:00 p.m. Idaho State Police said Kurtis Scheffer, 37, of Blaine, WA was
southbound in a semi on the inside lane when, William Slemp, 43, of Lewiston
came in from behind in a Toyota pickup on the outside lane to pass. ISP
said Slemp looked off to the left and drifted into the driver’s side of the
semi. The pickup collided with the first tank on the trailer, and then Slemp
jerked the wheel to the left. The vehicle rolled once coming to rest in an
upright position. Slemp and his 12-year-old son were extricated from
the pickup and transported to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. ISP at the
scene said both suffered head injuries that did not appear to be
life-threatening. There was minor damage to the semi but no sulfur
October 17, 2008
Mulberry, Florida, USA
A sulfur dioxide release left 29 workers with injuries this morning.
According to Polk County officials, the leak happened at the Mosaic facility
on Highway 60 in Mulberry just before 8 a.m.
A company spokeswoman says the plant routinely admits sulfur dioxide, but
weather conditions this morning caused the noxious cloud to hug the ground
instead of drifting away.
Sulfur inhalation can cause respiratory problems and nose and throat
irritation, and 18 contractors had to be hospitalized with varying degrees
of those symptoms. One person was admitted in serious condition.
As of 9 a.m., the sulfur cloud had dissipated and the scene cleared.
October 12, 2008
Petrolia, Pennsylvania, USA
At least 2,500 residents were forced to evacuate after a toxic spill in a
chemical plant in western Pennsylvania on Saturday. A corrosive liquid
overflowed from a tank at a chemical plant, evaporating into a dense toxic
cloud which moved close to the ground in parts of Petrolia, Pennsylvania.
The liquid known as oleum, which resembles sulphuric acid, leaked from a
tank at the Indspec Chemical Corp. plant in Petrolia, said plant manager
Dave Dorko. Authorities evacuated 2,500 people within the spill’s range and
took them to shelters in nearby towns. Three residents were taken to
the Butler Memorial Hospital, officials said. The state Department of
Environmental Protection said authorities were concerned about the potential
for respiratory damage and skin burns. Red Cross officials said they
expected to shelter only 50 to 100 people overnight.
April 13, 2009
- The manager of a western Pennsylvania chemical plant that had a toxic leak
in October says the worker who caused the leak was fired. Indspec
Chemical Corp. Petrolia plant manager Dave Dorko says the company plans to
meet with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to work out a
settlement. OSHA has proposed fining Indspec more than $120,000 for the
leak, which led to an acid cloud and forced 2,500 people from their homes
for a day. Dorko says Indspec wants to resolve things with OSHA and move on.
May 20, 2009
- State environmental officials have announced a $34,187 fine against a
chemical company for a toxic leak that caused and acid cloud that forced
hundreds of western Pennsylvania residents to evacuate. Indspec
Chemical Corp. already faces $121,500 in federal workplace safety fines for
the leak at its plant in Petrolia on Oct. 11. About 3,300 pounds of
oleum leaked when a transfer tank overflowed because its internal pumps
powered by an electrical outlet without an automatic shut-off. Oleum reacts
with the atmosphere and the resulting sulfuric acid cloud forced 2,500
people from their homes for a day.
October 9, 2008
Nearby plant workers and residents across the Mississippi River in White
Castle sheltered in place Thursday when a valve at the PCS Nitrogen plant in
Geismar leaked sulfuric acid, State Police said.
Roads near the plant and in White Castle were blocked for several hours
while officials observed the cloud of sulfuric acid vapors produced by the
leak, State Police Sgt. Markus Smith said.
The release “didn’t have a significant impact and there were no
reported injuries,” Smith said.
“It sounded worse than it was,” he said.
Nevertheless, the offices of Homeland Security in Ascension and Iberville
parishes issued the sheltering in place warnings to plant workers and White
Sheltering in place means people need to stay inside their homes and
businesses, turn off their air conditioners and close their doors and
windows, said State Police Trooper Russell Graham, public information
officer for Troop A.
Law enforcement officers blocked roads in Ascension Parish leading to the
plant and in White Castle until the sulfuric acid cloud dissipated, Graham
officials reported a weld broke in the storage tank, causing the acid to
leak into the atmosphere, Graham said.
“The tank was leaking 30 to 50 gallons a minute,” Graham said. “They have
slowed the leak down to about 10 gallons a minute.”
Graham said water trucks sprayed a curtain of water on top of the cloud to
keep it down until the emergency was over.
Workers pumped acid out of the leaking, 700-ton capacity tank until it was
empty and the emergency was ended, officials said.
October 1, 2008
An employee working on a filter at Decas Cranberry's water treatment plant
was exposed to sulfuric acid Wednesday morning and rushed to the hospital.
At 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Decas Cranberry Company President and CEO Jeff Carlson said
hazmat officials were still on the scene, but the employee had been treated
and released from the hospital "without any permanent injury".
Police received a 911 call at 7:57 a.m. that a chemical spill had occurred
at the company.
Carlson estimated between three and five gallons of sulfuric acid, which is
used to clean the treatment's filtration system, spilled and affected the
"We have safety procedures in place and our employees use full equipment
when handling anything hazardous," Carlson said.
"The employee was able to get to a nearby wash station and wash his eyes out
immediately which is very important. His skin was not burned, but the fumes
came in contact with his eyes. After the fire department is done with their
work, we'll assess what happened, why it happened and determine if changes
need to be made," he said.
The Fire Department said further details would be available after 2 p.m.
September 28, 2008
About 2,700 litres of sulphuric acid was spilt at the YIT factory in
Ylivieska in Finland on Thursday.
Rescuers said the spill had been caused by human error when filling a tanker
lorry. Some of the
acid seeped into the storm drain, but factory workers and firefighters
managed to stop it from flowing into the town's water supply.
The fire brigade pumped out some of the acid from the ground and the drain
and neutralised the rest with cream of lime.
September 27, 2008
Hazardous materials crews from the Unified Fire Authority along with
officials from the Utah Department of Transportation and Salt Lake Valley
Health Department are trying to figure out how a batch of sulfuric acid
ended up on the side of a state road Friday.
little after 8 a.m., fire crews responded to a 911 call of a possible field
fire right off the onramp from state Route 202 to I- 80 near Saltair.
first responding crews saw a plume of smoke but immediately recognized it
did not look like smoke from a field fire, said UFA spokesman Wade Phillips.
They recognized it as a chemical spill and called a hazmat crew. That crew used binoculars to confirm it was a chemical spill. When
sulfuric acid meets water it releases white plumes of smoke, which crews had
originally believed to be a field fire.
crews conducted a "Level-A" entry to the field about 8:45 a.m., meaning they
were getting into encapsulated suits to get a closer look at what might have
burned, Phillips said. He said there were some foaming bubbles on the
The spill started on the shoulder of state Route 202 and spread over a
45-foot by 25-foot-wide area, Phillips said. The hazmat crew took soil
samples and determined it was sulfuric acid. Yet, crews are still not sure
exactly how it got there. There were no barrels on the ground to indicate it
dropped off a truck, Phillips said. Investigators were looking at all
possibilities from a spill to an illegal dump.
plume never posed a large threat to motorists, as there was little wind,
Phillips said, so the freeway remained open.
September 25, 2008
A small leak from a faulty plug in a one-ton sulfur dioxide tank delivered
this week to the city's wastewater treatment plant forced authorities to
evacuate about 75 homes for three hours Thursday.
Plant superintendent John Stuparits said the leak on a reserve tank at the
rear of the property at 1525 Washington Ave. was discovered by a worker, who
immediately called authorities.
Stuparits suspects the plug had a faulty thread, allowing the liquid
substance to escape and immediately turn to gas.
Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Capt. Rick Yonker said the
concentration of the gas never reached dangerous levels, but the emergency
response erred on the side of safety.
Sulfur dioxide is used
in municipal treatment plants to neutralize chlorine during the cleaning and
disinfection process. Chlorine is toxic to aquatic life, and the plant sits
adjacent to the Grand River.
Yonker said police went door-to-door to alert residents of the evacuation
over a five-block area on the city's east side. There were no reported
injuries or effects from the gas release.
"It's a dangerous
irritant and can make breathing difficult if it is out in high
concentrations," Yonker said. "Thankfully, that didn't happen here. But you
never know how quickly the line will get capped or if the size of the leak
Mary O'Neill, who lives about a block west of the plant, said she never
noticed the pungent odor that spread over the area around the plant. She
went to visit her daughter when she was cleared from her home.
"It wasn't much of a problem at all," O'Neill said. "There sure seemed to be
a lot of commotion, a lot of police cars. But I never felt that it was a
Residents who were displaced were brought to a nearby church if they had
nowhere else to go, Yonker said. City buses transported those people from
"Everything went real smooth," he said.
A county hazardous
material team was called to the scene about 4:30 p.m. and had the leak shut
down by 7:45 p.m., authorities said.
Stuparits said he doesn't believe the tank was leaking long before it was
September 21, 2008
A gas leak at Richmond's wastewater-treatment plant forced an evacuation of
the plant at about 7:30 p.m. yesterday and sent seven people to area
hospitals as a precaution.
"We're taking this very seriously," said Robert C. Steidel, deputy director
of the city's Department of Public Utilities and one of the first people to
Police said 11 people apparently were affected by the leak of sulfur dioxide
The plant south of the
James River near Ancarrow's Landing treats up to 70 million gallons of
wastewater a day.
Steidel said the four workers who were on duty at the time detected the
leak, immediately evacuated the plant and were treated with oxygen.
Sulfur dioxide can be fatal if inhaled in large quantities, according to
medical Web sites.
Four people in the area
of the landing who apparently had been fishing were treated at the scene and
released. Two other bystanders, an ambulance authority worker and the four
plant employees were taken to area hospitals to be examined.
Steidel said the gas is piped from railroad tank cars into a chamber within
the plant, where it is injected into water. That mixture is then added to
wastewater to rid the water of chlorine before it is discharged into the
The leak apparently occurred in the mixing chamber, which automatically
becomes sealed off and airtight when a leak occurs. About 8:40 p.m.,
hazardous-materials teams determined that the leak had ceased and allowed
utilities personnel to re-enter.
September 18, 2008
Emergency responders have closed Bay Street from Fahm to President streets
because a tanker truck was leaking sulfuric acid.
Savannah-Chatham police say Bay Street is closed in both directions as
Hazmat teams clean up small puddles of sulfuric acid left on the road.
September 16, 2008
SUNSHINE North manufacturer has been ordered to pay more than $66,600 to
local environment groups after a major sulphur dioxide leak from its plant
The leak of 473 kilos of sulphur dioxide in
February last year resulted in a large-scale evacuation of surrounding
residences and businesses.
Air Liquide Australia, which operates a gas distribution and dry ice
operation in Bunnett St, Sunshine North, was ordered to pay $49,840 to the
Moonee Ponds Creek Coordination Committee for an environmental education
program for school students in the local catchment and $16,800 for native
grassland revegetation in Spring Gully Reserve, Keilor East.
Sunshine Magistrates’ Court heard that Air Liquide discharged sulphur
dioxide into the air, which “made the condition of the atmosphere so changed
as to make or be reasonably expected to make the atmosphere harmful or
potentially harmful to the health, welfare, safety or property of human
Sulphur dioxide is a common pollutant to which the
community is exposed every day at very low levels. Its effects can be
extremely debilitating in larger quantities.
The National Ambient Air Quality Standards and Goals recommendation is that
exposure to sulphur dioxide is, in an average period of one day, that
exposure be no more than 0.08 parts per million, for just one day per year.
Exposure to concentrations of 10 to 50 parts per million for five to 15
minutes causes irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, choking and
coughing. Those with im-paired heart or lung function and asthmatics are at
increased risk. Air
Liquide national manager specialty gases, Tim Passmore, said the company had
made several changes since then, to prevent a recurrence of the incident.
“We have set about updating some of the equipment, even though the plant is
only three or four years old,” Mr Passmore said. “We’ve had the Metropolitan
Fire Brigade come through and have a look, we had an open day where Work
Cover and the neighbours came in, so we could show them what we’ve done and
the changes that we’ve made to reassure them that nothing like this will
September 15, 2008
worker from Eck Industries in Manitowoc was sent to the hospital late Sunday
night after a chemical leak ain the aluminum foundry.
The Manitowoc Fire Department says it happened
about 11:00 p.m. Eck
Industries is in the 1600 block North 8th Street.
The haz-mat team had the scene cleared up by 6:00 a.m.
Firefighters say a small amount of sulfur dioxide gas leaked from a tank.
One worker came into contact with the gas.
He was taken to the hospital. His
condition was not known as of Monday morning.
All workers, about 30 to 40 workers, according to the fire department, at
the plant evacuated when the leak happened. No
one else in the area was evacuated. The fire department says Eck uses sulfur
dioxide in its aluminum molding process.
According to the EPA, sulfur dioxide can be acidic and react with other
chemicals to make dangerous compounds, and can cause respiratory problems.
Eck Industries officials say business will run as usual Monday.
September 15, 2008
spokesman from the Shell oil refinery in Martinez confirmed today that a
truck contracted to remove sulfur from the refinery this morning appears to
have spilled a small amount of it on the Marina Vista onramp to southbound
Interstate Highway 680. The
material, known as elemental sulfur, has dried on the roadway and is not
considered a health or safety risk, Shell's health and safety supervisor Tom
McKnight said. A shell
employee noticed the spill as he was driving home from work at 6:38 a.m. and
reported it to the California Highway Patrol, Shell spokesman Steve Lesher
said. The trucks were
contracted to take the material, a byproduct of the refining process, from
the refinery for further processing. Elemental sulfur is used to make a
variety of other products, including fertilizer.
The spill area, located at the base of the onramp, is about 10 feet by 15
feet with a 50-yard trail, Lesher said.
Shell crews were still assessing the situation this afternoon to decide
whether they would clean it up.
"We don't believe it needs cleaning up," McKnight said. "There's no real
hazard there." He said
the spill was too small to be a slip hazard and that the material is not
harmful in its current state.
If they do attempt to clean up the spill, the
California Highway Patrol would have to close the ramp so crews could chip
the material off the roadway, which could damage the pavement, Lesher said.
Shell officials are looking into how the spill occurred and have been
talking to the trucking company to find out which truck dropped the
material. No road
closures have been necessary and the spill was not considered a hazardous
materials situation, Lesher said.
September 5, 2008
acid spill at a Chicago chemical company sent at least one person to the
hospital and caused several others to get treatment for respiratory
problems. Hazmat crews were called to two separate locations near the TBS
Chemical Company in the 2900-block of East 126th Thursday afternoon.
Firefighters say 30 gallons of sulfuric acid spilled. The acid caused a
plume of smoke which may have drifted to the second location nearby.
August 22, 2008
Benton County, Indiana
semi rear ended a tanker on US 41 and State Road 352 near Boswell spreading
sulfuric acid on the road and releasing toxins in the air. The semi was
coming up behind the tanker apparently not paying attention and at the last
minute, swerved to the left and clipped the tanker in the rear and busted
open his tanker. The accident spilled 750 gallons of sulfuric acid and
empty aresol cans all over US 41. The sulfuric acid stung eyes and noses,
so the police evacuated homes and businesses closest to the crash and closed
the road. Boswell residents were told to stay inside their homes.
fire at the Apache Zama Gas Plant Complex sent three workers to High Level
Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Zama City is about 600 km northwest of Edmonton.
The fire started at 1:30 p.m. on a block of sulphur and was extinguished by
5:30 p.m. Fifteen workers from the plant were evacuated and 30 residents in
Zama City fled of their own accord.
The Energy Resources Conservation Board is investigating the cause of the
fire. They have not detected any off-lease emissions from the fire.
August 13, 2008
OAKEY Abattoir's 700 workers were evacuated yesterday after more than 800
litres of sulphuric acid spilt on site. Emergency
service crews, including a 8specialised Hazardous Chemical Unit, responded
quickly to the potentially deadly situation after receiving the call at
9.38am. All roads
surrounding the abattoir were blocked. Luckily,
no-one was injured. Oakey
Abattoir plant manager Bob Bradford said the 800 litres of acid had leaked
from a tank located outside the rendering building.
Initially, it was feared 2000 litres had been
spilt, however Mr Bradford said the tank only held 2000 litres and that it
had been in use for quite some time before the accident occurred.
Mr Bradford said the steel tank had a concrete
bunded area around it which contained the spill.
"The tank was reasonably new, actually, as we had replaced the old one
recently," he said. "We're
in the process of pumping the fluid from the bunded area to other vessels
and then once that is done, the tank will be inspected to find out why it
had sprung a leak." The
inspection will be carried out today.
Staff was evacuated and kept outside for 50 minutes before returning to
"business as usual". "We
haven't evacuated the plant for anything like this before," Mr Bradford
said. "Everything went
as planned, the bunded area worked perfectly and we took the right
precautions of evacuating people."
August 4, 2008
Valero Energy Corp said production at its 130,000 barrel per day Houston
refinery was temporarily reduced after an incident that heavily damaged a
sulfur loading tank on Monday morning.
The Houston Fire Department said the tank, which contained sulfur dioxide,
ruptured, leading to a shelter-in-place order to nearby residents in
Houston's Manchester neighborhood. The shelter order was lifted about two
hours after the incident.
A total of five workers -- three contract employees from the refinery and
two contractors from nearby facilities -- were taken to hospitals following
the incident with breathing problems.
All had been released by mid-afternoon, the company said.
Earlier Valero said four workers were taken to hospitals.
Small homes in the Manchester neighborhood are across local streets from the
refinery, which is at the west end of the Houston Ship Channel.
Local television station KHOU-TV showed video of a smoldering tank with a
large hole in a portion of its roof at the refinery in a Monday morning news
report. Debris could be seen on the ground near the tank.
July 28, 2008
|| A sulfuric acid spill at the Chevron refinery this morning has
caused no injuries or adverse effects to surrounding areas, the company
said. A leak in a
pipeline containing the chemical was discovered around 8:10 a.m. and
involved about 1,000 pounds of the liquid, said Chevron spokesman Walt Gill.
Because the sulfuric acid was in liquid and not vapor form, there was no
harmful odor emitted, Gill said. Crews have been dispatched to clean up the
spill. Even though the
spill did not cause any significant damage or harm, Gill said, the volume of
the spill required the company to report it to county and state authorities.
July 28, 2008
Sand Springs. Oklahoma
A tanker loaded with sulfuric acid and bleach burns on US 412 Monday
morning. Emergency responders shut down the busy highway both directions
while fighting the blaze. The
driver of the truck said he was hauling the chemicals on US 412 near the
Keystone Dam, when a tire on his truck blew out. "I
just know that I was suddenly in the rail," he said.
Doug Stevens, the operations manager for the chemical company involved, said
bleach could have a reaction to sulfuric acid, but said there was little
danger to the firefighters or general public from the smoke released from
the fire. Sand
Springs Fire Chief Mark Joslin said there was concern about spraying water
on the sulfuric acid. That could produce a violent chemical reaction. That,
combined with the potential for runoff of the dangerous chemicals into the
lake, played into firefighters' decisions to let the fire burn itself out.
The blaze sparked several grass fires, as well.
Emergency workers shut down US 412 for hours while fighting the blaze. As of
press time, there was no word on when it would be re-opened.
July 18, 2008
Residents near Grand Blanc Processing off Baldwin Road were evacuated early
today when several tanks filled with sulfuric acid caught fire.
Police were called to the plant at 10151 Gainey Drive about 4 a.m., said
Grand Blanc Area Fire Department Fire Chief Jim Harmes.
Most of the fires were quickly under control, but firefighters were
concerned about hazardous vapors in the air so began evacuating residences
and businesses about 5 a.m. in about a half-mile area from the plant. One
tank continued to burn from the inside, making it difficult for firefighters
to put the flames out, Harmes said.
July 16, 2008
One man was injured and dozens of firefighters were tied up for several
hours Tuesday after an industrial accident spilled an estimated 40 gallons
of sulfuric acid in a Custom Aluminum Products building at 410 Division St.
Capt. Burt Lancaster of the South Elgin & Countryside Fire Protection
District said a 58-year-old male employee sustained second-degree burns on
his arms when the acid began leaking from a pipe about 10:45 a.m. The man,
whose name had not been released, was taken to Provena Saint Joseph Hospital
in Elgin, where he was reported to be "in good shape," Lancaster said.
Fire Chief Joe Cluchey said that when firefighters arrived, they found
employees working to shut off the spill, but "we also noted product still
being released from some of the dispensing equipment. Employees confirmed
that this product was sulfuric acid."
Cluchey said 15 workers were evacuated from the anodizing factory, which is
one of a complex of seven adjoining buildings operated by Custom Aluminum
and the affiliated company Casco Industries. However, when testing revealed
the outside air was not dangerously contaminated with fumes, work was
allowed to continue in the other six buildings.
The chief said Custom Aluminum managers believed they were able to shut down
the leak by shutting down an air compressor. But help from six other fire
departments was called to get enough trained hazardous-materials technicians
to enter the building, make sure the leaking had stopped, and make sure no
liquid acid was leaking into any drains or areas outside the building. One
crew of technicians entered the factory wearing impermeable plastic suits
and positive-pressure breathing gear, while another crew, similarly
equipped, waited outside in case anyone in the first crew collapsed.
Misting fans and tent-like shelters were set up
to cool off the heavily encumbered technicians as a cloudless sun beat down
through the 90-degree air.
About 1 p.m., the spill was declared to be contained, and a crew from
Hazchem Environmental Corp., a private cleanup contractor hired by Custom
Aluminum, had arrived to remove the acid and complete repairs.
South Elgin firefighters were assisted by technicians, ambulances and/or
standby fire engines from the Elgin, West Dundee and Hanover Park fire
departments, plus the Hampshire, Pingree Grove & Countryside, and
Rutland-Dundee Townships fire protection districts.
July 10, 2008
pipe that carries sulfuric acid at an oil refinery of Nippon Oil Corp. in
Kurashiki was discovered early Monday to be partially broken, resulting in a
leakage of the high-concentration liquid, police said.
An employee at the Mizushima oil refinery noticed
the leak at about 2:40 a.m. and contacted the local fire department.
It is believed that up to about 1,000 liters of
the acid leaked from the five-centimeter-diameter pipe, and there are fears
some of the liquid might have spilled into the Seto Inland Sea.
No damage has been reported so far, but the Mizushima Coast Guard Office
ordered surveillance vessels to the area to investigate possible damages.
According to the refinery, highly concentrated
sulfuric acid used to produce gasoline was sent via the pipe to a factory
from a tank about a kilometer from the refinery.
July 10, 2008
A roll over accident on an I-75 exit ramp had environmental clean up crews
busy this morning. A semi carry sulfuric acid tipped over when it
tried to take the exit ramp from State Route 65 to 75. A small amount
of the acid leaked out in the crash.
The State Highway Patrol says that the ramp had to be closed for a short
time so that the spill could be cleaned up, but only a small amount is said
to have gotten out.
July 9, 2008
Firefighters worked yesterday morning to contain a spill of sulfuric acid at
the Maryland Chemical Co. on Childs Street in South Baltimore.
A Fire Department spokesman said a contract worker
was injured when some of the chemical spilled on his hands.
Chief Kevin Cartwright said the worker, whose age and identity were not
available, was taken to a hospital.
He said the man had been trying to repair a 4,000-gallon tank when it
ruptured about 9:30 a.m.
Most of the spill was contained by a berm set up for that purpose, and
Cartwright said there are "no concerns environmentally."
The Fire Department contained the spill by 11 a.m.
July 2, 2008
A tank carrying approximately 175 gallons of sulfuric acid fell off the back
of a semi truck on Highway 54 near Grant Avenue in Portage County this
closed the highway between Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids to clean up
the spill. The road was still closed at noon. Hazardous materials teams from
the Whiting Fire Department and Waupaca county were dispatched to the scene.
The tank was laying in the center median of the highway, and some of the
acid pooled in a nearby ditch.
According to Lt. Dan Kontos of the Portage County Sheriff’s Department, the
truck was leaving the So-White building on 54 when it turned west and the
tank fell. “There
was a vapor cloud when I arrived on the scene,” Kontos said. “I could smell
it as soon as I got out of my truck.”
Authorities will set up a series of booms and dikes to keep the chemical
from penetrating the ground and reaching the ground water. The next step
will be to apply soda ash to neutralize then remove the tank, Kontos said.
“Conditions are good right now because the wind is out,” said Plover Fire
Chief Tim Kluck. “At this time we aren’t evacuating the nearby businesses.”
The chemical is used to clean concrete and can be harmful if inhaled, Kluck
The state Department of Natural Resources, the Portage County Sheriff’s
Department, the Plover Police Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol also
June 19, 2008
Hillsboro, North Dakota
The American Crystal Sugar Co. plant in Hillsboro, N.D., was evacuated, and
more than 20 people were taken to local hospitals after a chemical leak at
Sulfur dioxide, which is used in processing sugar
beets into sugar, leaked from a hose from a delivery truck parked outside
the plant unloading the chemical into a storage tank at the factory. The gas
was released shortly before noon Wednesday and drifted into the factory.
A statement released by Traill County Sheriff Mike
Crocker said 21 people at the plant, mostly contractors, were transported to
Union Hospital in Mayville, N.D., and the Hillsboro Medical Center in
complained of respiratory problems caused by the inhalation of sulfur
dioxide, a cold, compressed gas. The
driver of the delivery truck, who was wearing proper protective gear and
managed to shut off the flow of the chemical from the truck to the storage
tank, also suffered sulfur dioxide burns to his feet, according to the
About 225 people, 150 of them American Crystal employees and the rest
contractors, were evacuated from the plant, according to the company.
Emergency crews were present at the scene giving oxygen to those who were
exposed, the company said in a press release.
Authorities still were investigating the leak and monitoring the plant late
Wednesday. The Grand Forks hazardous materials team was called in to inspect
and remove the hose from the truck, which still was leaking a small amount
of sulfur dioxide into the air.
“American Crystal will conduct a full and thorough investigation,”
Schweitzer said. “But it looks like all appropriate actions were taken to
limit the amount of sulfur dioxide released, to evacuate our factory and to
take the proper precautions so the event was minimized as much as possible.”
Schweitzer blamed the leak on an apparent hose malfunction, allowing a vapor
cloud to be released. He said such an accident is rare.
“It is not a common occurrence,” Schweitzer said. “In the 13 years I have
been working with American Crystal, I can’t remember something like this
March 31, 2011 - A man who alleges he was injured in 2008 by a
sulfur-dioxide leak at a sugar beet processing plant in Hillsboro, N.D.,
wants three companies to be held responsible for his medical expenses and
lost wages, according to a suit filed in federal court. A man who
alleges he was injured in 2008 by a sulfur-dioxide leak at a sugar beet
processing plant in Hillsboro, N.D., wants three companies to be held
responsible for his medical expenses and lost wages, according to a suit
filed in federal court. Conrad Rostvet, 56, of Adams, N.D., is suing
American Crystal Sugar Co. of Minnesota, Lock City Transportation Inc. of
Michigan and Smart-Hose Technologies Inc. of Pennsylvania. Rostvet’s
suit says he was working as a contractor June 18, 2008, at the beet plant
owned by American Crystal. The same day, a truck driver from Lock City
Transportation had been hired to pick up sulfur dioxide from the plant, the
suit says. To transfer the sulfur dioxide, the suit says, the truck
driver used a hose made by Smart-Hose Technologies. During the transfer, the
hose or other parts broke or malfunctioned, releasing sulfur dioxide into
the air, the suit alleges. At the time, Rostvet was working nearby,
and he was “significantly and severely injured” by the gas, the suit says.
Sulfur dioxide, which is used to process sugar beets into sugar, is a
colorless gas with a strong odor. When inhaled, it can affect the lungs and
at high levels may cause “burning of the nose and throat, breathing
difficulties and severe airway obstructions,” according to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. According to Rostvet’s suit: Lock
City Transportation was negligent in transferring the sulfur dioxide;
Smart-Hose Technologies’ hose and equipment were defective; and American
Crystal did not properly oversee the transfer. American Crystal denies
Rostvet’s allegations and blames Lock City Transportation for the leak,
according to court documents filed last week. Lock City Transportation and
Smart-Hose Technologies have not responded to the suit. In 2008, the
Herald reported on the leak which sent 21 people, mostly contractors, to
local hospitals. Some complained of respiratory problems caused by the
inhalation of sulfur dioxide. The truck driver, who was wearing protective
gear, suffered sulfur-dioxide burns on his feet, according to the Traill
County Sheriff's Department. About 225 people, 150 of them
American Crystal employees and the rest contractors, were evacuated from the
plant, the company said. The leak, which occurred shortly before noon, was
contained the same day, and the plant was re-opened that night. Officials
said the leak posed no risk to the public.
June 14, 2008
Kiev, 14 June: Sulphur dioxide leaked out at [chemical plant] Stirol Concern
in Horlivka, Donetsk Region, at 0600 [0300 gmt] today during the launch
after repairs of a facility to manufacture sulphuric acid, the
Interfax-Ukraine news agency has learned from the press service of the
territorial directorate of the state mining inspectorate in Donetsk Region.
A chemical cloud covered the territory of the
state-owned coal mine Shakhta Oleksandr-Zakhid. The
press service said that 17 mine workers had complained they felt bad and had
undergone a medical examination. A
total of 15 mine workers have been diagnosed as having poisoning and
admitted to hospital.
June 6, 2008
Manufacturers has been fined $100,000 in the Land and Environment Court over
an acid spill. The Land and Environment Court
heard that Nowra Chemical Manufacturers Pty Ltd allowed 1700 litres of a
sulphuric acid solution to escape from its premises in January last year.
The company admitted that during the early hours of the morning on
January 19, 2007, 1700 litres of sulphuric acid solution leaked from an
unbunded storage tank with a flange not suitable for storing sulphuric acid,
located on the premises. The court heard company
employees hosed the acid down an on-site stormwater drain.
The acid solution mixed with tap water flowed to a nearby heavily
vegetated stormwater easement. The court found
5000 litres of the acid solution mixed with tap water were recovered from
The court found that the leak caused severe harm to common plant
species within a 22-metre stretch of the stormwater easement.
The court also found there was the potential for greater harm, but this was
ameliorated by the company’s prompt clean-up works.
It was noted the decision to store the acid in the unbunded tank represented
a high level failure at the company.
RESIDENTS in part of north Hull were urged to keep doors and windows closed
after a chemical leak left a toxic plume over an industrial estate. About
40 firefighters, some wearing chemical suits and breathing apparatus, worked
to contain the concentrated sulphuric acid. Crews from Humberside Fire and
Rescue Service were called to the incident at Holmes Halls Tanners in Air
Street, Wincolmlee, at about 9.30am yesterday. A worker called the fire
service after spotting smoke, caused by the acid reacting. About 250
gallons of acid leaked from a ruptured 500-gallon cylinder. Glenn Ramsden,
of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It's not dangerous, but there
was an extremely unpleasant smell and for that reason people were asked to
keep doors and windows closed. “Fortunately for us it's not a densely
populated area, which worked in our favour. “We have been blowing the fumes
out of the factory using fans.” Sulphuric acid is used in the process of
tanning leather. It is highly toxic and can cause severe burns if in
contact with skin or eyes. Crews stemmed the flow of acid before applying
lime or calcium carbonate to neutralise the acid. No one from the firm was
available for comment
Reports from Tanzania say there was scare at the Dar es Salaam port
when suspect cargo alleged to be carrying more than 12,000 metric tonnes of
bright yellow sulfur, a highly toxic chemical, caught fire.
The chemicals, which arrived aboard a Cambodian shipping vessel, MV
SALINA, were received by a Dar es Salaam-based company, Grindrod Tanzania
Limited. It is understood that some of the chemicals were also spilt while
being transported by rail after being offloaded from the ship.
“The huge bulk of cargo of yellow sulfur in powdered form is highly toxic,
highly hazardous and dangerous to human life, animals and environment”, said
a court document filed by Dar es Salaam law firm, Sheikh’s Chambers of
Advocates. The document, a written statement of
defense, was filed on behalf of the owner of MV SALINA after the company was
sued at the High Court in Dar es Salaam by Chemical Initiatives (PTY)
Limited, the South African owner of the chemicals, which is demanding a
2bn/- compensation for an alleged contamination and theft or loss of some of
the cargo. Official court documents quoted by a local daily, ThisDay say a
total of 12,356.740 metric tonnes of bright yellow sulfur arrived in Dar es
Salaam on March 14, this year, contrary to the country’s Industrial and
Consumer Chemicals (Management and Control) Act Number 3 of 2003.
Contrary to Tanzanian laws and regulations on chemicals, the cargo of yellow
sulfur was unloaded from the vessel without any special necessary measures
being taken by the plaintiff’s agents, Ms Grindrod Tanzania Limited, to
protect the stevedores and the environment from pollution”, says the
statement from Sheikh’s Chambers of Advocates. Advocate
Hamida Sheikh, maintains that the chemicals, which are the main object in
the suit, are highly hazardous and are described by Tanzanian laws as
chemical wastes prohibited from being imported into Tanzania.
Section 43 (1) of the Industrial and Consumer Chemicals (Management and
Control) Act states that “’No person shall be allowed to import chemical
wastes in the country”. But lawyers representing
the ship owner maintain that the cargo was illegally imported into the
country, hence the lawsuit in question was in fact asking the court to
enforce an unlawful contract. The chemicals,
originating from the Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery Company of Saudi Arabia,
were reportedly in transit to Zambia.
||The Road Safety
Administration (RSA) and the Civil Defense in Makkah have come under severe
criticism for failing to take quick action to avert a possible environmental
disaster when a truck leaking highly hazardous acid broke down close to the
holy city on Saturday. “The truck, which was
leaking concentrated sulfuric acid, remained on the expressway a little away
from the entrance to the holy city for 22 hours. It was neglected by the RSA
and the Civil Defense, which are the bodies responsible for dealing with
such situations,” said Fahd Al-Turkistani, a chemical expert and
The truck, which broke down at about 10 p.m. on Saturday, was only
noticed around 8 p.m. the next day by the RSA, which called the Civil
Defense. It was then taken to a safe place away from the road and its load
was transferred into another truck. The Civil
Defense also used alkaline substances to neutralize the leaked acid. This
operation took about 16 hours, according to a spokesman for the Civil
Defense. The truck was taking the acid from a
Dammam factory to a desalination plant in Jeddah. When it arrived in Jeddah,
the plant refused to take delivery after a leak in the truck’s tank was
On its return to Dammam, the truck broke down and the acid began
leaking on the road. It was then that the driver requested his company in
Dammam to send another truck to take back the cargo.
“The truck’s owner should be held accountable for not taking necessary
precautions. The desalination plant also deserves to be penalized for its
irresponsible handling of the situation,” said Al-Turkistani. “The company
should have informed the police of the situation and should not have
permitted the driver to take the toxic cargo all the way back to Dammam in a
leaking truck,” he added. Al-Turkistani said he
was surprised by the response of the Chemical Safety Wing at the Presidency
for Metereology and Environment when he asked it to send a truck to transfer
“Some officials at the presidency asked me who would pay the cost of
the truck, instead of sending emergency help,” said Al-Turkistani.
On the other hand, Lt. Col. Ali Al-Muntasheri, official spokesman for
the Makkah Civil Defense, said his department responded quickly when the
truck was discovered. He said firefighters
neutralized the leaked acid and moved the truck to a safe place before
transferring its content to another truck, he said.
|May 1, 2008
||Traffic in the
Altnagelvin area of Londonderry has been brought to a standstill after a
tanker containing sulphuric acid overturned. All
approach roads to Altnagelvin roundabout are closed and police have advised
motorists to find alternative routes and avoid the area if possible.
A police spokesman said there were no reports of any injuries.
|March 31, 2008
derailment of 28 cars on a Union Pacific Corp.
(UNP) freight train near Northfield resulted in a
leak of sulfuric acid. Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said
the derailment occurred near a residential area at about 2 a.m. Monday.
No injuries were reported from the derailment and no evacuations had
been ordered as of 6 a.m. The acid was leaking
slowly from only one tanker car.
Twenty-eight of 104 cars on the train left the track.
Emergency crews poured lime on the spilled acid to neutralize it and built
an earthen dam to contain it. An environmental crew also monitored air
quality and tested the soil. Workers planned to pump out the tanker and
remove the sulfuric acid in trucks. The railroad didn't know how much
sulfuric acid spilled or exactly how much the tanker contained, but the
tanker held up to 14,000 gallons. A second derailed car holding sulfuric
acid did not leak.
appears to be what caused a 28-car train derailment in Northfield, according
to a railroad official. “The
derailment at Northfield on March 31 was determined to have been caused by
the way the various train cars were placed or positioned in the train makeup
— the way the loaded cars and empty cars were positioned in the train,” said
Mark Davis, spokesman for Union Pacific. The
104-car train headed southbound on its way to North Platte, Neb., derailed
north of Greenvale Avenue around 2 a.m. March 31, causing a tanker to leak
about 655 gallons of sulfuric acid. There were no injuries nor evacuations,
although Davis said he was checking to see if any residents had filed claims
with the railroad of suffering poor health as a result of the derailment.
Other than the tanker that was half full with sulfuric acid and another
tanker that held peanut oil, the rest of the train’s cars were either empty
or carrying stick lumber, Davis said immediately after the derailment.
Davis said Friday in an e-mail that the railroad is running simulations to
determine exactly how the makeup of the cars contributed to the wreck. Once
they have that information, Davis said, they’ll review it with all employees
to ensure proper loading and empty car placement. Federal law also requires
that the railroad file a report on its findings to the Federal Railroad
Administration. “An example of how train
makeup can contribute to a derailment — if there are too many empty cars in
front of heavy-loaded cars as the train is coming to a stop, the heavy cars’
weight will ‘push’ an empty car off the track,” Davis said.
The FRA’s report on the derailment is pending, according to its Web
site. At the time of the derailment, FRA spokesman Steven Kulm said it would
be months before its investigators would complete their report.
February 20, 2008
||Gases were released
on site at a sulfuric acid plant Wednesday when a weld near the top of a
converter vessel suddenly ruptured, Mississippi Phosphates Corporation said.
Two employees received burns as a result of the accident and both
were released after receiving treatment at local facilities, the company
said. The plant is one of two sulfuric acid
facilities operated by Mississippi Phosphates at its diammonium phosphate,
or DAP, fertilizer facility in Pascagoula. The
company said it continues to conduct air monitoring and had found no
detectable concentration of gas or odor outside its facility.
"On-site gas levels fall below threshold levels of concern," the company
said in a statement. "All appropriate governmental authorities and agencies
have been notified and the group continues to closely monitor what appears
to be an improving situation." The cause of the
apparent weld failure and the extent of damage to the plant are being
investigated, the company said. Representatives
of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality were sent to the
plant. In January, the company had said that one
of its 1,500 ton-per-day sulfuric acid plants would be down for several
weeks while additional repairs were made to a boiler. It said the boiler had
suffered a major failure in July of last year and that initial repairs had
been after repairs. At the time Mississippi Phosphates blamed the problem on
the contractor that had done the work.
|February 13, 2008
Chinese tanker truck carrying more than 30 metric tons of sulphuric acid has
crashed in southwest China, spilling its load into a river and causing
"serious pollution," state media said on Wednesday.
The accident occurred on Tuesday, the last day of the Lunar New Year
holiday, when the truck ran into the guard rail on a highway linking Anning
and Chuxiong in the mountainous province of Yunnan, Xinhua news agency said.
"Some of the sulphuric acid has flown into a roadside river and has caused
serious pollution. Many fish were killed," Xinhua said.
No human casualties were reported, but up to 1,000 vehicles were stranded
along a section of the highway, it said.
"The government has sent for another truck to load the sulphuric acid still
in the truck," Xinhua said. It did not say if the spill had affected any
drinking water supplies.
|February 4, 2008
||A leaking train car
caused a road to shut down in south Richmond County. The leak was found in
the morning in a tank car containing sulfur trioxide. The leak stopped on
its own. As a precaution, Goshen Industrial Boulevard was been shut down
until DuPont representatives arrive around 3 p.m. today to clean up the
spill. The tank car is owned by DuPont. At the time, no one was in danger
from the spill. They hope to have the leak patched by nightfall. The spill
occured on a rail line owned by Norfolk Southern.
January 24, 2008
Sulfuric acid leaked into the water supply from a chemical factory in
central China, poisoning at least 26 villagers who were admitted to
hospital. Authorities said the victims had nausea and swollen faces. An
underground pipe broke at the factory - part of the Xiaoping coal mine
complex in Banqiao town in Hunan province's Chenxi county - causing the
chemical leak into groundwater supplies, said Yang Changyou of the Chenxi
information office. "There are 26 people seriously poisoned and
hospitalised, and more than 200 villagers are receiving free medical
check-ups, but no one died in the accident," Yang said. The government was
providing free bottled water and extra water supplies from four fire
engines, he said, adding that authorities were trying to track and contain
the leak. The Beijing News said the number of poisoning cases could reach
1,000, citing the hospital and relatives of those sickened by the polluted
water. That estimate could not be immediately confirmed.
|January 23, 2008
on Interstate 81 began moving normally at about 8:15 p.m. Thursday, some 26
hours after a two-truck crash brought the artery to a standstill. Both
north- and southbound lanes first were closed about 6 p.m. Wednesday when a
tanker carrying sulfuric acid ground to a stop in the grassy median after
being struck by another tractor-trailer that crossed from the northbound
lanes. The tanker and its caustic cargo remained there, at the 8.7 mile
marker, until another tanker could be brought to the scene and the acid
could be safely pumped into it Thursday. Officials feared moving the wrecked
tanker because its exterior was damaged, said Sgt. Michael Conroy of the
Virginia State Police. "They had trouble finding a tanker to transfer the
load. You might think they’re all alike, but they have different insulation
and the first one they located was not properly insulated. It’s a very
specialized product," Conroy said of the acid cargo. One lane on both the
north- and southbound sides was opened Thursday morning as authorities
waited for the second tanker to arrive from Alabama, Conroy said. A tanker
from Texas-based FSTI arrived about 1:45 p.m., and contract environmental
workers wearing green biohazard suits and face shields began the process of
hooking up hoses and a pump to transfer the acid. After testing revealed a
small leak in the system, repairs were made and the process to off-load
about 2,400 gallons of the acid got under way. Because the acid is so
flammable and so dangerous, authorities again closed both sides of the
interstate between 4 and 5 p.m., said Michelle Earl of the Virginia
Department of Transportation.
January 19, 2008
No one was injured when a rail car carrying sulfuric acid came off the
tracks at GAC Chemical Corp. and released a small amount of the chemical.
The accident occurred while GAC was taking delivery of four or five carloads
of sulfuric acid that came in on the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway. The
car derailed due to human error, he said, and came to a rest leaning at a
45-degree angle. The car's connection to the rest of the train
prevented the rail car from tipping completely over. Once the crane
arrived, Dittmeier said the tipped car was hoisted and loaded onto an empty
car, so it would remain upright. The process took between two and three
hours, he said, to give GAC personnel time to inspect the tracks and rail
car for any damages. Dittmeier said there appeared to be no damage to
either. Then, the crane was used again to reset the car onto the track.
When the car was being transferred the last time, the repositioning caused
it to "burp," according to Dittmeier. This caused about 10 gallons of
sulfuric acid to spill onto the top of the railcar, a problem that was
||January 13, 2008
||Five people were
killed and 32 injured when an explosion ripped through a chemical factory in
southwestern China's Yunnan province on Sunday. Two people remain missing
after the early morning explosion at a sulphuric acid plant in the
provincial capital of Kunnming ignited a large fire on the factory premises,
Xinhua news agency said. The injured had been
hospitalized and were out of danger. An official with the city's publicity
office told Xinhua that seven seriously injured people were in critical
condition. Rescuers were searching for the missing, according to a notice
issued by the city government of Kunming. "Rescuers said the survival
chances for the two missing are very slim," said an official who declined to
give his name. The explosion happened at a sulphuric acid plant under the
state-run Yuntianhua International Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., a leading
chemical fertilizer producer in China, at 3:52 a.m. Sunday and caused a big
fire. Sulphur powder exploded and caused the fire when workers were loading
them in front of a store house, said investigators from the city's work
safety administration. The fire was put out at around 8:00 a.m. Sunday. Air
quality in the neighborhood of the sulphuric acid plant, which is less than
40 kilometers from the downtown area of Kunming, remained normal, according
to the city's environment protection bureau. On Sunday afternoon, a great
deal of sulphur powder could still be seen in the messy warehouse when
policemen with masks and helmets were busy investigating at the scene.
Wang Xiaoguang, vice mayor of Kunming, arrived at the site to supervise the
rescue operation and told the city's factories to carry out thorough safety
examinations. The Kunming city government had set up a task force to
investigate into cause of the accident and to deal with the aftermath, said
Wang. Located at the Haikou town in Xishan District in western part of
Kunming, the sulphuric acid plant is run by the Yunnan Sanhuan Chemical
Industry Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Yuntianhua International Chemical
Industry Co., Ltd., and it has more than 1,000 employees. According to
Huang Helong, an official with the Yunnan Sanhuan Chemical Industry Co.,
Ltd., all the victims were workers of the plant. Huang said the rescue
operation had almost finished and the whereabouts of the two missing were
still unknown. Founded in the 1970s, the sulphuric acid plant, which covers
more than 50 hectares, is designed to produce 1.39 million tons of sulphuric
acid and 1.2 million tons of phosphate sulfate fertilizer annually.
||December 31, 2007
International Paper in Franklin, steam filled the air, but it's what you
couldn't see that had hazmat teams concerned Monday night. Just outside the
plant a train car was leaking sulfuric acid. "They're thinking it got over
pressurized," said Chief Chris Carr of the Carrsville Volunteer Fire
Department. Chief Carr was just one of many people stationed at a nearby
staging area, in case their help was needed. "They have a team in place at
the mill for these types of situations. They basically handle all of them,
but being this one was just outside the plant when it happened we were
called in," said Chief Carr. Chief Carr says the on-site hazmat team was
able to handle the spill, which turned out to be minor. He says mill
employees were able to contain the spill which posed no threat to the
public. "Very little risk to people in the area or to workers, either one,"
said Chief Carr. He says, had their been any serious risk, crews would have
worked to neutralize the acid. Instead they decided to move the car inside
the plant and off load what was left.
||December 31, 2007
||No evacuations were
ordered and no roads were closed Monday after a small amount of sulfuric
acid leaked from a Union Pacific Railroad tanker car in Rialto, officials
reported. Union Pacific spokesman James Barnes said the acid -- a thick
goop which sticks to surfaces -- never touched the ground. The leaked acid,
which was estimated at 5 gallons, was cleaned up within hours of the initial
9 a.m. report. A Rialto Fire Department report said the leak resulted from
mechanical failure involving a valve at the top of the tanker car. Repairs
were made and the tanker was back in service without incident by 1 p.m., the
news release said. After the leak was reported, hazardous-material crews
from Union Pacific and the Rialto Fire Department responded to Union
Pacific's West Colton Classification Yard near Slover Avenue. Crews entered
the area wearing protective chemical gear, Rialto fire Capt. Brian Park
said. Before assessing the damage, crews determined whether the damaged car
could be repaired or if they needed to transfer the estimated 130,000
gallons of sulfuric acid to a second tanker car.
|December 27, 2007
||A train derailment
in Pevely involving sulfuric acid transport cars left cleanup workers
scrambling Thursday. The incident occurred Wednesday at about 9:30 p.m.
when four cars containing the acid plunged down an embankment near the Dow
Chemical Company plant on Route Z. Two cars not carrying acid were also
damaged. No one was injured, and no chemicals leaked from the cars despite
a drop of roughly 100 feet. No evacuation was necessary. The cause of the
derailment is unknown. "It's still under investigation," said Mark Davis,
spokesman for Union Pacific Railroad. Officials with the Missouri
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were contacted in the aftermath of the
derailment following concerns about a possible chemical leak into a ravine
at the scene of the incident. A DNR environmental emergency response worker
was called to the scene along with officials from neighboring fire and
police departments and the Jefferson County Hazardous Material Team.
Cleaning crews transferred sulfuric acid from damaged cars into tank cars
as part of the cleanup process. Davis said the rail cars were able to
withstand such a drop thanks to their solid build. "It's really a testament
to today's tank car design," he said. "We work with car manufacturers on
design and safety, and to have this type of incident with no leak really
punctuates that." Davis said the train, more than 40 cars in length,
travels between Ste. Genevieve County and the city of St. Louis. Rosemarie
Rung, spokeswoman for Dow Chemical, said the derailment caused only minor
disruption to the plant. "Only a little, because of the increased traffic,"
she said. "It's nothing we can't recover from. There's no spillage."
December 14, 2007
Detroit , Michigan
||A truck spilled 550
gallons of chemicals in Fraser this afternoon, closing Masonic Boulevard,
between Groesbeck Highway and Utica Roads. Local businesses were evacuated
and crews conducted a total cleanup of the area. Fraser Public Safety
officers responded to a call around 3:30 p.m. Friday of a vacuum truck
containing about 550 gallons of sulfuric and nitric acid developing a leak
near one of its valves. The Clinton Township hazardous materials team
arrived on the scene and determined all of the truck's contents had emptied,
some of which ran off the road and into a nearby sewer and drain. No one
was injured in the incident.
||December 10, 2007
||A truck driver was
burned on more than 90 percent of his body Saturday in a work-related
accident. The incident happened around 12:53 p.m. at the Brazos Valley
Energy Power Plant at 3440 Lockwood Road. According to the Fort Bend
County Sheriff's Office, an off-loading hose burst during loading, spilling
500 gallons of 93 percent sulfuric acid. Vincent Lewis, 44, was flown by
Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital and was admitted to the burn unit.
Officials said he's in stable condition. A power plant worker, 31-year-old
Allen Perez, was also burned but not as badly. He was transported by EMS to
Oak Bend Hospital.
November 27, 2007
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
A tanker truck leaking sulfuric acid caused traffic problems along Route
73. Crews worked to contain the spill. Police said the leak was reported
by a motorist around 7:20 a.m. who saw the truck as it exited I-295.
Officers stopped the truck at the intersection of 73 and Church Road. They
contacted the Burlington County Hazardous Material Response team. Route 73
was partially closed for nearly two hours as crews worked to contain and
clean the leak. Police said there were no evacuations and no injuries.
November 11, 2007
storm sank two vessels, the Volnogorsk and the Nakhichevan, which were each
carrying 2,000 tons of sulphur.
Update December 14, 2007 - European
Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) presents experts'
report on oil spill in Kerch Strait. It
concluded that the sunken sulphur did not pose an immediate acute risk to
the environment but recommended that the sunken ships with sulphur on board
be salvaged so that the sulphur can be appropriately processed.
|November 5, 2007
truck carrying sulphuric acid rolled over while entering Highway 168 on an
onramp. It was unclear if the truck was traveling at an unsafe speed or if
the load shifted. The truck rolled over and blocked the lanes of traffic.
People on the scene tried to help the truck’s driver who was trapped inside
the cab before CHP arrived. Firefighters sawed open the twisted metal to
reach the driver who was in critical condition. The driver was airlifted to
Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. Since the tanker truck was
full of sulfuric acid when it crashed, authorities had to bring another
truck to pump out the acid before they could clean up the crash site. The
front of the truck was crushed but the tank remained intact.
|October 19, 2007
A road train carrying three trailers of sulphuric acid overturned near
Hughenden, in central north Queensland. The Flinders Highway was
closed after the eastbound road train crashed about 30km east of Hughenden.
Police said the road train was passing a truck and sedan travelling in the
opposite direction when its third trailer veered into a ditch before
swerving across the road and overturning. None of the sulphuric acid was
spilt in the accident and there were no other environmental concerns. No
one was injured in the accident.
||October 12, 2007
||Syracuse, New York
||About 1,000 gallons
of sulfuric acid spilled at the Bristol-Myers Squibb plant. The spill
traveled across the property eventually flowing into a sewer. The sewer is
a closed sewer on the site so no acid ever left the property. The acid was
neutralized while in the sewer by an outside contractor. The acid is used
to treat boiler water.
|October 10, 2007
Hazardous Incident Response Team and other emergency personnel responded to
the Crooks Avenue area late Wednesday morning when a tanker was reportedly
leaking sulfuric acid from an exterior hose of the rig. Maryland State
Police also responded to incident that shut down Crooks Avenue, which is
located off McMullen Highway near state Route 135. The chemical leak, which
was first reported to the Allegany County 911 Joint Communications Division
at 11:16 a.m., prompted McCoole Volunteer Fire Company to the scene along
with State Highway Administration personnel. The Maryland Department of the
Environment was also notified of the emergency. Initial reports indicated
an “exterior hose” was leaking the sulfuric acid and the driver detected the
leak but was unable to shut it off. The tanker was reportedly parked on the
side of the road at Crooks Avenue when the incident began. Early Wednesday
afternoon, no information was available concerning the amount of acid that
had leaked from the tanker or the rate at which it was reportedly leaking.
|October 9, 2007
||A collision between
two tractor trailers resulted in a sulphuric acid leak from the lead
trailer. A tractor trailer hauling sulphuric acid was rear-ended as it
slowed to leave an exit ramp. The collision caused heavy damage to the rear
of the trailer damaging a valve allowing sulphuric acid to leak out. A
spill recovery team was able to contain the leak to a small area.
October 2, 2007
A woman crashes into a tank causing an acid spill near Taft. A hazmat
crew was called out after the vehicle had put a four inch gash into the side
of a tank carrying sulfuric acid. The acid was coming out at a slow
rate, but did cause a small puddle. Hazmat determined there was no
immediate threat so now it's up to the owner of the land to clean up the
mess. Sulfuric acid is often used in water that farmers use to
September 17, 2007
The accident involving a tanker lorry, a mini-lorry and a cyclist at
Collectorate Junction in which the cyclist was killed, has more than what
meets the eye. The ten-wheeler lorry was carrying highly-concentrated
sulphuric acid, the spillage of which would have been disastrous. It would
have caused harmed human lives. It would have led to groundwater getting
polluted in many areas. Luckily, there was no spillage though the huge
lorry fell on its side into a road-side ditch. Personnel from the FACT
arrived at the spot to prevent spillage. Deputy Transport Commissioner M.N.
Prabhakaran said drivers of most tanker lorries were unaware of the forces
acting on the vehicle when their liquid consignment moves laterally and is
thrust towards the front of the tank, when the brake is applied. Lorries
carrying petroleum products have compartments within the tank, whereas many
lorries carrying acids and chemicals do not have such partitions. Any
application of brake, negotiating a sharp curve at high speeds or sudden
change of lane, will result in the driver losing control of the vehicle.
Wednesday’s incident saw the lorry crash into a median and a mini-lorry
before overturning, which shows that the driver did not slow down at all at
the busy junction. Mr. Prabhakaran said the lorry was 25-years-old which
shows that it was not fit to carry such a substance. “We will soon direct
the factories and companies that manufacture chemicals, acids and other
inflammable substances to entrust their transportation with firms having a
fleet of modern tanker lorries. In addition, the drivers and cleaners have
to be made aware of the nature (and implications, in case of accidents) of
the consignment,” Mr. Prabhakaran said.
August 28, 2007
Louisiana Highway 520 in Claiborne Parish was shut down this morning after a
truck hauling sulfuric acid wrecked. The spill occurred about 1 a.m., half
a mile south of the Louisiana 161 intersection in the north part of the
parish, State Police said. There were no homes in the immediate vicinity of
the wreck and no one was evacuated, State Police said.
August 28, 2007
A worker at J.R. Simplot's Don Plant has died of burns from an accident at
the fertilizer plant in Pocatello. Company
officials say 53-year-old Frank Rowberry was sprayed with molten sulfur as
he inspected a clogged pipeline on Tuesday. The sulfur caught fire, and he
was rushed the University of Utah Burn Center in Salt Lake City with burns
over more than two-thirds of his body. A plant
spokesman, Rick Phillips, says the company received word Thursday that
Rowberry had died the previous night. Simplot and
the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating, partly
to determine why the sulfur caught fire.
Frank Rowberry was a maintenance worker who was doing a routine part
of his job Tuesday afternoon, unloading sulfur from railcars and working on
a clogged pipe when the sulfur suddenly ignited lighting Rowberry on fire.
Officials say Rowberry was wearing the plant's required protective gear but
was burned on more than 50 percent of his body.
August 21, 2007
transport company faces a clean-up bill of millions after the chemical spill
on the N1 in Centurion this week - and damages claims from drivers whose
vehicles were damaged after the spill. A Warden
Cartage tanker transporting a solution of 98 percent sulphuric acid
overturned near the John Vorster Drive off-ramp on he N1 south at about
3.30pm. It lost about 10 000 litres of its
load. No one was injured in the incident,
but there have been scores of reports from motorists whose vehicles were
damaged by the corrosive liquid. These vehicles
had driven over the chemical on the road before emergency workers could
cordon off the area. Tshwane emergency services
spokesperson Johan Pieterse said their control room received dozens of calls
from vehicle owners complaining that their tyres, wheels and bodywork had
been corroded by the acid.
South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) N1 route manager Tommy
Bedford said the clean-up operation cost about R120 000.
The cost of the environmental clean-up of the soil on the side of
the road will run into millions. They have to
remove the soil from the surface to a certain depth. Environmental officers
will test the soil every second day until they are satisfied with that the
clean-up had been successful. Bedford said they
were able to stop the chemical from reaching the nearby Sesmyl River.
Two chemical spill response companies ran the clean-up operation. The
highway was closed for about 20 hours, which caused huge traffic problems.
Vehicles were backed up as far as the R21 turn-off.
The highway was opened at about 11.30am on Wednesday.
August 19, 2007
||Traffic at U.S. 231
and Ind. 28 were rerouted after a semi-tanker leaked an estimated 100
gallons of sulfuric acid. Traffic was rerouted
through Tippecanoe County roads until the spill could be neutralized before
the evening rains arrived to the area.
The incident started west of the intersection on Ind. 28 about 4:30
p.m. The sulfuric acid exited through a valve on
the tanker. The valve appeared it did work like
it was suppose to. For some reason, the tank
built up pressure, whether it was the heat of the day, it leaked off some of
the sulfuric acid but not any more.
August 17, 2007
||Four rail cars at a
chemical company in Conroe fell off the tracks.
The accident happened at Jefferson Chemical on FM 1485.
There are no residential areas nearby, but authorities say one of the cars
leaked sulfuric acid. No evacuations were called,
and no injuries were reported
||August 9, 2007
poured sulphuric acid onto a street, prompting a hazardous materials
response this morning in Riverdale. Fire crews were notified at 11:35 a.m.
of the situation near the intersection of Halsted and 141st streets. Someone
trying to clean out a barrel "inadvertently" poured a "minor amount" of the
liquid acid on the pavement, Riverdale fire Lt. Chris Van Dyke said. The
incident happened outside a rail yard building, he said. A hazardous
materials response team was called and the substance was cleaned up by 12:44
p.m., the lieutenant said. The person, acting on behalf of the rail yard,
had been trying to clean out the 55-gallon barrel, then rinsed it with water
and poured it onto the pavement, he said. The water reclamation district
and public works department were notified, but no evacuations were necessary
and no one was hurt.
||August 4, 2007
||More than 50 workers
of a paper factory in Ang Thong province were rushed to a provincial
hospital on Saturday after they inhaled contaminated gas released from a
nearby textile factory. After about an hour of
treatment, the Ang Thong hospital discharged some 30 workers. The rest
remain there. Police investigators said villagers
said bad smell came from Thai Reyor factory located nearby. But when they
arrived at the scene, the factory stopped emitting the gas.
Department of Industrial Works said the smell resulted from leakage of
sulphur dioxide, which happened after a blackout in the area. The blackout
caused machines at the factory to operate with some problems.
||August 1, 2007
||An overnight fire
was a cause for concern for Kern County and Bakersfield firefighters. A
large fire ignited at the Hondo Chemical Plant just before midnight. A
hazardous chemical team was called to the scene to assist firefighters
because the fire started inside some machinery that uses sulfur. After the
fire was out, firefighters had to stick around to water down the sulfur so
it would not re-ignite. Fire investigators say there was no need to
evacuate any homes nearby because the sulfur would not harm anyone indoors.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Hondo plant lost $500,000
in damaged machinery due to the fire.
July 30, 2007
A section of U. S. Highway 59 was shut down due to a hazardous chemical
spill. An 18 wheeler that was carrying about 40,000 pounds of sulfur,
crashed into a stalled vehicle on US 59 in Timpson around 7:30 p. m. Monday.
The truck caught on fire and spilled its load all over the highway.
The initial danger was pretty high because of the fumes being emitted from
the burning sulfur. A couple of firemen had to be transported to the
hospital due to exposure to sulphur dioxide.
The fire took more than four hours to put out. The fire department
initially used water on the fire which enhanced the fire. A hazardous
materials team had to use a special foam to get the flames under control.
The crash site was far enough away from homes that no evacuations were
July 20, 2007
A fire at the J.R. Simplot Co. fertilizer plant at 200 W. 225 S. caused the
evacuation of a 1-mile radius around the plant, as a deposit of sulfur was
ignited. The cause of the fire and extent of its damage were unknown.
East End, West End and Rupert fire departments responded to the fire.
About every 15 minutes, firefighters in two-man teams took turns scaling a
ladder to reach the fire through a hole in the roof of one of the plant's
buildings. By 7 p.m., the fire was mostly under control.
July 18, 2007
Virginia State Police say Interstate 95 southbound is closed at mile marker
138 in Stafford County because of a leaking truck. HazMat crews were called
to scene just before 1:00 p.m. Wednesday because the truck was carrying
sulfuric acid. Investigators say the truck was not involved in an
accident. What caused the leak remains unclear.
July 16, 2007
Atholville, New Brunswick
Sulphur dioxide was mistakenly released into the air at a northern New
Brunswick pulp mill, prompting an investigation by environment officials.
The incident Monday at the AV Cell pulp mill in Atholville started when a
pipe that transports sulphur dioxide from a rail car to the mill broke. The
gas leaked for about 15 minutes before the problem was fixed. "At this
stage, the Department of Environment was on the scene [Tuesday] and they
gathered as much information as possible," said Paul Fournier of the
department. Fournier said it's not clear how much of the gas was released
Monday. He said the next steps would involve AV Cell presenting the
department with a report of the incident, and the department must do a study
on what measures should be taken to minimize the risk of another incident.
June 15, 2007
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Nine people were treated and released from hospital following a gas leak at
an Inco Ltd. acid plant in Greater Sudbury June 15. Inco spokesperson Cory
McPhee said the plant had a power interuption Thursday at 9:30 am which
caused the SO2 (sulphur dioxide) leak into the atmosphere. "Normally the
plants shut down, but in this case one of the fans in the booster house kept
going so there was gas sent out that shouldn't have been," said McPhee. The
acid plant is located inside Inco's smelter complex and is used to capture
SO2 gas that would normally go up the Super Stack, and turn it into
sulphuric acid. Eight contractors and one Inco employee were sent to
hospital after being exposed to the sulphur dioxide. Some were sent home for
the day while others came back to work. The gas causes irritation in the
throat and lungs. It (gas) just dissipates . . . they were able to
address the problem but why it happened is still under investigation," said
McPhee. Inco has launched an internal investigation into the matter. McPhee
said the company will "file a report of an unusual occurrence" to the
Ministry of the Environment, which is standard procedure.
July 2, 2007
Part of Lake Road near WaferTech in Camas was closed for nearly two hours
after a tanker truck spilled about a gallon of sulfuric acid onto the road.
The acid was contained and cleaned up with no runoff and no damage to the
road. Sulfuric acid is a byproduct of WaferTech's manufacturing
process, during which silicon wafers are etched with circuitry to make
computer chips. The company sells the acid to other manufacturers. The
spill, from a Chemical Transfer Company vehicle, may have been the result of
an improperly secured hose, which had been used to drain the acid from
WaferTech tanks into the truck. The vehicle's driver stopped as soon
as he realized the chemical had spilled, at about 1:30 p.m. Southeast
First Street was closed between WaferTech's west entrance and Northwest
Friberg-Strunk Street until about 3:15 p.m., when cleanup efforts were
complete. The Camas Fire Department worked with WaferTech to
neutralize the chemical and clean up the spill. WaferTech will submit
a full report to the state Department of Ecology, which may prompt further
review by the agency.
June 29, 2007
Dallas County, Arkansas
A tractor-trailer, carrying 40,000 pounds of sulfuric acid, overturned on
Highway 9 in Dallas County Friday afternoon. The Arkansas Department of
Emergency Management says a small amount of sulfuric acid leaked from a
gauge on the tanker and as a precaution seven homes were evacuated in the
area three miles north of Princeton. Families returned home Friday night.
The local coordinator from the Dallas County Office of Emergency Management,
along with a Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) response unit offloaded the
sulfuric acid. No injuries have been reported.
June 28, 2007
Raleigh, North Carolina
An accidental spill of sulfuric acid at a Raleigh chemical plant yesterday
caused evacuations of three nearby schools for several hours. In addition,
local residents were told to stay indoors for part of the day. The 3,000
gallon acid spill occurred at the Mallinckrodt Chemical facility located at
8801 Capital Boulevard. Initially, a statement was issued by Division Chief
Frank Warner with the Fire Department saying that the leak was "confined to
the company's property and poses no threat to the general public." However,
later in the day, officials were concerned that potential rains could have a
chemical interaction with the sulfuric acid, releasing a gas. Due to those
concerns, the city later asked residents who lived within a half mile radius
of Mallinckrodt Chemicals including the Riverhaven Apartments complex to
stay inside their homes. Late in the day on Thursday, the Raleigh Fire
Department Haz Mat units were able to clean up the spill and the city
advised local residents that it was safe once again for them to go outdoors
in the area.
||June 22, 2007
||A small explosion
and fire at a sulfur plant caused no injuries and had no environmental
impact. At about 8:30 a.m., Freeport Fire Department personnel responded to
a call at SF Sulfur Corporation. Process overpressure blew out a vent on
top of a building at the 13-acre complex and led to some spot sulfur fires.
Authorities reported no injuries, no impact to the ground or air and minor
damage. SF Sulfur crews contained the incident. Two Freeport units
responded and fire officials were on scene for about an hour. SF Sulfur
receives sulfur and grinds it for shipping.
|June 22, 2007
tanker truck carrying sulfuric acid overturned on the Interstate 10 frontage
road in Marana and caused the closure of the road for part of the morning
and most of the afternoon. The tanker did not leak. The acid had to be
pumped from the tanker to another truck before the wreck could be removed.
The truck was the only vehicle involved and the driver, its sole occupant,
was not injured. The truck overturned shortly before 10 a.m. about 1.5
miles west of West Moore Road. Investigators have not determined what
caused the truck to tip on the straight stretch of road. The truck was
traveling from Hayden to Red Rock.
|June 20, 2007
Becker County say eight to ten cars of a westbound BNSF freight train
derailed on the west side of Lake Park shortly before 3:30 pm. Sheriff Tim
Gordon said several dozen people were evacuated from some rural homes
downwind of the site as a precaution because there are hazardous materials
on the train. Some of the cars contained ammonium nitrate, sulfuric acid
and hydrochloric acid. It was not clear if anything is leaking. The
container cars are piled up on top of another making it difficult to get an
accurate count of the cars or get into the wreckage. No injuries were
June 22, 2007
||A man was killed in
an early morning accident causing southbound Interstate 75 in Florida to be
shut down for several hours. The left front tire blew out on the tanker
which was traveling northbound on I-75. The driver lost control and the
truck struck the concrete barrier separating the northbound and southbound
lanes. The impact caused the tanker, which was filled with liquid sulfur,
to become airborne and cross over into the southbound lanes of I-75. The
tanker skidded about 200 feet before hitting a UPS tractor trailer head on.
The UPS driver died from injuries received in the accident, according to the
Berea Police Department. The driver of the tanker was not injured. The
northbound lanes of I-75 remained open but the southbound lanes were closed
to clean up the liquid sulfur spill. The spill was contained and posed no
threat to the public. The clean-up, which is estimated to take six to 10
hours, wass being directed by Madison County EMA.
June 8, 2007
The truck was traveling Northbound on I-476 (Blue Route) and began to exit
to get onto I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) when it overturned around 7:53 a.m.
Smoke was noticed coming from around the vehicle where the load had dumped
onto the road and the shoulder of the road. The smoke was actually
corrosive sulpher dioxide gas. The dry sulphur had apparently mixed
with something else causing a massive chemical reaction. Crews in full
hazmat gear arrived. At the crash scene, air samples showed gas
concentrations 30 times the level that can cause respiratory distress.
Fortunately, the plume quickly dissipated.
May 8, 2007
Texas City, USA
A sulfuric acid leak at the Dow plant caused only a minor amount of damage
and no one was injured. The leak at the plant in the 3300 block of
Fifth Avenue South was small and contained by plant personnel. A Level
1 alert was issued during the hour-long incident, which started about 1:15
p.m. A Texas City Fire Department unit was dispatched to monitor the
||May 3, 2007
||Houston, TX, USA
||A man had to be
transported to the hospital after breathing in sulfur fumes at the Arkema
Plant. The plant manager said the truck driver was unloading molten sulfur
when he was overcome. No one else was affected.
|April 25, 2007
||Kingsport, VA, USA
containing sulfur-dioxide burst on Interstate 26 in Kingsport. Crews got
the call around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning. A 150-pound cylinder containing
the substance came loose from a tractor trailer. A car did run through the
vapor, which resulted in two people going to the hospital. A firefighter
also had to be treated for exposure. Crews re-sealed the leaking cylinder
in a vacant area.
||April 18, 2007
||A sulphur dioxide
leak at a chemical fertiliser plant in southwestern China has put about 140
students and teachers in hospital with respiratory problems. Five teachers
and more than130 students from three schools reported respiratory problems
and have been sent to a local hospital. A local government official says
heavy fog at the time of the leak stopped the gas dispersing. Authorities
are investigating the cause of the leak.
|April 17, 2007
||At around 2:30 p.m.
a CN sulphur train headed to Vancouver was reported to have sulphur
smoldering. There were no injuries and no danger associated with the
smoldering product. Valemount’s volunteer fire department responded to a
call for help from CN Rail. CN had trouble getting through to the dispatch
centre in Prince George, so they called it into the local police, who got in
touch with local volunteer fire chief. The train was directed to stop north
of town on Loseth Road by Crooked Creek because there was a good place to
draw water from.
|April 16, 2007
rollover involving a truck carrying sulfuric acid knotted up traffic along
Highway 138. Police said the weather played a factor in causing. At around
5:30 a.m., a tractor-trailer heading south on Highway 138 ended up in the
ditch just north of Sand Road. The driver of the vehicle was not injured.
Traffic was reduced to one lane as a long line of emergency vehicles,
including Cornwall's hazardous materials unit and officials with the
Ministry of the Environment, tried to prevent the acid from spilling.
Ultimately, they were successful in preventing the spill.
||April 14, 2007
||San Roque, Spain
||The Cepsa refinery
in the San Roque area was at the centre of further controversy after a major
leak of sulphur was registered. The incident took place between seven and
eight on Saturday evening when a technical fault was experienced at the
petro-chemical plant causing a high level of sulphur dioxide to be
released. Although the company has claimed that there was no risk to the
surrounding population, over 32 emergency calls were received by the Spanish
112 emergency services, with reports of over 2,000 residents in the area
affected by the high level contamination. The incident saw a larger than
normal release of smoke, as well as an increase in the smells surrounding
the plants, causing some discomfort to residents in the area.
||March 30, 2007
man was sprayed in the face with sulphuric acid and three others suffered
minor burns when a pipeline ruptured at the Goodman Fielder manufacturing
plant in Murarrie about 1.30pm. The man, a subcontractor, had been pumping
acid from a holding tank into a truck to allow for routine maintenance when
the incident occurred. Somehow in that process we believe a valve was
opened at the incorrect time...and there was a pressure build up that there
shouldn't have been. He was sprayed over his back, neck, arms and face and
was immediately put into the emergency safety shower. A Queensland
Ambulance Service spokeswoman said the man had been rushed to the Royal
Brisbane Hospital in a critical condition, but the full extent of his
injuries is not yet known. The others were taken to the Mater Hospital
suffering a combination of acid burns and vapour inhalation. Firefighters
remained at the scene for some time to clean up the sulphuric acid, which is
used at the factory for cleaning.
March 30, 2007
||Two dozen cars of an
Ontario Northland train jumped the tracks about 16 kilometres north of
Englehart. Nine cars carrying sulphuric acid went
off the tracks. One of the cars spilled its
entire contents, estimated to be about 100 tonnes, and four cars were still
leaking acid into the Blanche River on the next day.
Residents along a section of river in Northern Ontario have been advised not
to use its water. Ontario Environment Ministry
officials are taking water samples and have arranged for lime to be added
upstream of the spill site to counter the effects of the acid.
|March 29, 2007
||A freight train
derailment occurred in Godmanchester, about 60 kilometres southwest of
Montreal. Amongst the derailed cars were three sulphuric acid tank cars.
There were no leaks, no injuries and no evacuation. The cars left the track
on the outskirts of Huntingdon about 1 p.m. The Canadian National Railway
train was being operated by a CN crew on track owned by CSX Transportation.
Investigators of the federal Transportation Safety Board are assessing
whether there will be a need for an in-depth investigation.
|March 26, 2007
||A train derailment
resulted in seven tank cars derailing on a South Side railroad track. A
tank car containing molten sulfur leaked less than a gallon of sulphur onto
the railroad ties. No one was injured. The derailment was most likely
caused by a broken rail or a broken wheel on the train.
The cause is under investigation. Another tank car containing molten
sulfur, didn't spill anything. The molten sulfur was cleaned up by a
||March 26, 2007
Georgia Gulf Sulphur plant located at 1300 Spring Creek Road sustained heavy
damage due to a fire at the plant. The exact cause of the fire was
not immediately known but it is suspected
that something metal created a spark, which in turn caused dust
associated with sulfur being stored at the plant to explode.
Flames burst through the side of a large building used to mix and grind the
sulfur and quickly spread to the roof of an adjacent storage building and
office. The fire began at approximately 2 p.m.
and was not fully controlled until about 4 p.m. Almost two dozen
firefighters and more than eight fire trucks responded to the scene.
|March 26, 2007
crews contained a 30 gallon spill of sulphuric acid at Norfolk Southern’s
Brosnan Yard. The spill was considered relatively minor because the
location was a railyard and not a populated area. There was indication the
acid leaked from a pressure valve on a rail car.
|March 17, 2007
||Newark, New Jersey
An overturned tractor-trailer near Newark early today spilled diesel fuel on
the highway and caused lane closures along I-95 well into the afternoon.
Initially police reported that sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid had
spilled from the truck, but later the Department of Natural Resources and
Environmental Control determined that it was just fuel from the truck that
leaked. The trailer also contained numerous individual containers of
hydrofluoric acid, which was of concern due to the high flammability of the
|March 15, 2007
A semi-truck drove into a passenger car, which became lodged under the
trailer. The collision then ruptured an acid load in the truck and
started a fire. Three people in the passenger vehicle suffered serious
injuries with one listed in critical condition. The truck driver, as
well as three firefighters and four DPS officers, were treated for
inhalation problems. The truck was carrying 1,500 pounds of sulfuric
acid, phosphorus acid and sodium hydroxide.
|February 28, 2007
Two 55-gallon drums of sulfuric acid punctured when a truck overturned on
Interstate 84 near the southern Idaho town of Burley, closing the highway
for about three hours. Police say the westbound tractor-trailer tipped
over on a cloverleaf. An unspecified amount of sulfuric acid spilled
after the accident and the westbound lane was closed.
A state-contracted crew cleaned up the spill after officials with the Idaho
Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Homeland Security
determined the leak had stopped.
||February 26, 2007
A sulfuric acid leak at Weyerhaeuser's main Longview plant shot the liquid
45 feet in the air after a valve malfunctioned while a truck was unloading
acid. The leak occurred in a decontamination area and a crew of 15
hazard management workers were nearby to clean the spill up within three
hours time. No one was injured. The decontamination area had a
built-in shower, which made the clean-up easier.
February 23, 2007
A retired Bastrop Police Department officer is in stable condition in an
Arkansas hospital after he was injured when the truck he was driving
overturned in southwest Arkansas, spilling sulfuric acid onto the roadside.
Chris Branum, 55, was driving south along U.S. 71 near Ogden, Ark., just
after 1 p.m. on Feb. 17 when he apparently lost control of the tanker truck
he was driving. A spokesman with Arkansas State Police Troop G headquarters
said Branum's skidded almost 150 before it entered the median, where it
traveled another 80 feet before it overturned.
According to a story published by the Texarkana Gazette, rescue crews
arrived on the scene but were initially kept away from the scene because of
the leaking sulfuric acid. Branum was transported
to CHRISTUS St. Michael Health Center in Texarkana and treated for lung and
head injuries. On Wednesday, he was reported in stable condition.
The State Police spokesman said no citations were issued following the
February 18, 2007
While sulfuric acid was leaking from a ruptured valve on an overturned
tanker truck Saturday, the driver was rescued by emergency crews and passing
motorists on U.S. Highway 71. Branum was southbound on U.S. Highway 71
about a mile south of Ogden near the Arkansas Highway Police weigh station
when the accident happened. Authorities say Branum lost control of the
rig as he entered a curve in the highway. The truck is owned by Phoenix
Transport. Investigators also say gusty west winds may have contributed to
Branum losing control of the tanker truck, which was loaded with sulfuric
acid. Firefighters used shovels to dig a trench to direct the flowing
acid to a culvert. They also used a smoke ejector fan to blow possible fumes
away from the firefighters who were shoveling the dirt. A backhoe was
later used to dig a deeper trench to contain the acid.
February 17, 2007
highway had to be closed down for over five hours after a tanker carrying a
chemical substance collided with a Maruti car near Panvel early Friday
morning. The tanker overturned in the process and spilled its contents onto
the highway. The chemical compound (oleum), which the tanker was carrying,
then spread over a radius of five km causing such a dense fog that motorists
lost visibility even at an arm’s length. The police had to then step in and
close down the highway for a seven-km stretch until the fumes settled down
and the area was cleared.
February 9, 2007
cloud of sulphur dioxide leaked from the Air Liquide plant in Berkshire
Road, North Sunshine, just before 6.30am. About 100 people were evacuated
and 15 treated by paramedics after a potentially fatal toxic cloud leaked
from a plant in a Melbourne suburb. Fifteen people needed medical treatment
and residents were told to stay indoors at the height of the drama in North
Sunshine. Police have urged residents south of Berkshire Road, Sunshine
North, to stay indoors, shut their windows and turn off external air
conditioners. Police spokesman Senior Constable Adam West said the sulphur
dioxide spill caused "agitation and aggravation" to people in the immediate
area. Metropolitan Ambulance spokesman Phil Cullen said 15 people -
residents and local workers - were treated for symptoms including shortness
||February 6, 2007
Sulphur dioxide was accidentally accidentally released into the air and the
gas seeped into Paulsboro High School during first period, causing
headaches, feelings of nausea and some instances of vomiting in as many as
15 students and a handful of faculty members. Valero officials tested
the interior of the high school after the release measuring sulfur dioxide
at levels between zero and five parts per 1 million parts of air. The
smell of rotten eggs lingered in Paulsboro until the late afternoon, almost
disappearing entirely by 4 p.m.
January 26, 2007
A chemical spill in Tillsonburg caused an evacuation, and sent 7 people to
hospital. At around noon a chemical spill of Sulphur Dioxide happened
at Guardian Industries. Two employees were taken to hospital, were
treated and released, five other also went to the hospital were found not to
have suffered any effects. Neighboring businesses and six homes were
also evacuated. Roads in the immediate area were closed for several
hours. The Tillsonburg Emergency Control Group was activated but an
emergency was not declared. The Spills Action Centre was contacted as
well as the chemical supplier have dealt with the clean up.
January 25, 2007
La Porte, Texas
A gas cloud from the DuPont plant located at 12501 Strang Road forced
officials to issue a shelter-in-place and shut down a freeway.
Officials said oleum was released from the unit that produces sulfuric acid.
"We had an upset in that process. As a result, we vented a significant
amount of sulfuric acid mist," said Ken Martin, DuPont's safety supervisor.
Oleum came out of a 300-foot stack for about 10 minutes. The unit was
shut down and the release was stopped but not until after a large cloud
covered the area. "The cloud itself was a very, very fine sulfuric
acid mist. I personally drove through the cloud multiple times in my
personal car. The thing I would recommend people do if you thought you were
exposed to a significant amount of it or your vehicle, something like that,
wash it off this afternoon," Martin said.
Residents south of the plant and along Highway 225 were asked to
shelter-in-place until it was lifted at 1 p.m. Residents in the
Pasadena subdivision of El Jardin were under a shelter-in-place until 1:30
p.m. La Porte Independent School District schools were included in the
shelter-in-place. Highway 225 was shut down in both directions between
at Highway 146 at Sens Road.
January 24, 2007
A truck driver died in an accident on the C-3211 road, after his tanker came
off the road near Moratalla and fell from a height of 8 metres into the
Rambla La Murta. The tanker was carrying 15,000 litres of sulphuric acid.
A specialist team from the fire brigade was called in to neutralise about 25
litres of the acid which leaked from the tanker. The company which owned
the vehicle removed the remaining cargo to another vehicle. There are no
homes in the immediate area of the accident. The operation was supervised
by Protección Civil, who activated the emergency plan for transport of
January 19, 2007
Nearly 100 gallons of sulfuric acid spilled a parking lot at French Paper
Co. in Niles. There were no injuries and no
equipment was damaged. A container tipped
while being transported by a forklift.
Mill staff contained, neutralized and cleaned up the spill.
Nobody was injured and at no time was anyone in danger.
Sulfuric acid is used in paper making for pH control.
French Paper employees and emergency personnel used a powder to soak up the
sulfuric acid and it was then placed in a dumpster and French Paper is
waiting approval from state agencies to dispose of it.
|January 7, 2007
Shortly after 1 a.m., 24 cars of the 121-car Canadian National freight train
derailed, vaulting one of the rail cars across a residential street, just
missing the train station and stopping within a few metres of a house. The
freight train was headed for Dartmouth, N.S., from Toronto. Mangled freight
cars carrying automobiles, lumber, grain, salt, even corn syrup, were
scattered along both sides of the railway tracks as CN crews spent the day
cleaning up. Four of the derailed freight cars were filled with sulphuric
acid, but none ruptured under the impact. No toxic substance was spilled and
plans to evacuate part of the community were abandoned.
||December 18, 2006
||Four people were
taken to hospitals after a 55-gallon drum of sulfuric acid exploded Monday
night at a southeast Houston chemical plant. The fire started about 8:20
p.m. at SET Environmental Inc. The company stores and mixes hazardous
chemicals. A truck driver and a plant employee near the explosion were
rushed to hospitals with unknown injuries. Two more employees exposed to
smoke also were taken to hospitals. Firefighters believe the drum contained
a solution of 60 percent sulfuric acid and another chemical. The cause of
the explosion is unknown because employees were not tending the drum at the
||December 12, 2006
||About 40 residents
in a city in northeast China were hospitalized after a sulfur dioxide spill
from a petrochemical company. The spill occurred around 9:00 a.m. Tuesday
at the Jinzhou Petrochemical Industrial Co Ltd, in Liaoning Province,
according to the Jinzhou City Work Safety Administration. The leak lasted
ten minutes and five kilograms of sulfur dioxide were released. All the
residents who fell ill complained of pain in the throat and chest, and were
taken to nearby hospitals. A two-millimeter crack on a pipe led to the
spill, according to the administration.
||December 7, 2006
contamination of Probistip and its outskirts, caused by sulfuric acid
leakage, has been thwarted, i.e. the contamination was neutralized before it
came into contact with the waters and the land.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Environment & Spatial
Planning, contamination threat was bridged in due time. The
statement comes after last Tuesday's report saying roughly 1.5 tons of
sulfuric acid leaked at car battery plant Sap Vesna.
"The samples of land and water near the car battery factory Sap Vesna have
tested negative. The testing showed that the land and the water were not
polluted," the Ministry said. Toxicity tests have been conducted on samples
of five rivers and the surrounding land. State
Inspectorate ordered the factory to immediately remove the damaged pipe that
caused the leakage.
November 23, 2006
Parksville Lake, Tennessee
A spokesperson for the Polk County, Tennessee Sheriff's Office says that
they have been forced to shutdown Highway 64 due to a sulfuric acid spill. A
tanker truck has overturned on the Highway near Parksville Lake and is
apparently leaking acid. Emergency and Hazardous Materials Teams are on the
scene, or enroute to try and contain the leak. There are no homes or
businesses in the immediate area so no evacuations are underway. However,
again, Hwy. 64 is closed in both directions near Parksville Lake.
November 18, 2006
A truck carrying molten sulfur spilled part of its contents and caused the
shutdown of traffic through a portion of Brentwood. The 12:30 p.m. incident
happened on Brentwood Boulevard, a two-lane highway which was closed for
several hours between Havenwood Avenue and Sunset Road. Motorists noticed a
substance leaking from the truck and alerted the driver who then stopped.
While a small amount of molten sulfur that spilled on the road was not
considered dangerous, the high temperature of the chemical makes it a
potential hazard. Crews cleaned off the road and police reopened it shortly
before 7 p.m.
November 16, 2006
A train spilled around 35 tons of sulphuric acid destined for the copper
industry after being derailed by broken tracks. The train was carrying
some 72 tons of the acid which was headed for the country's largest copper
mine, the Indian-owned Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). The accident
occurred 50 miles north of the tourist capital Livingstone. Railway
officials told the local press that unless the spill could be quickly
neutralized with lime, there was a good chance that rain would wash it into
a nearby canal, posing a danger to local people, livestock and wildlife.
This was the second major accident in as many weeks for KCM, which last week
allowed untreated effluent from a plant in the town of Chingola to spill
into a nearby river.
November 6, 2006
A truck driver was filling his truck with the dangerous liquid when
something apparently went wrong. He’s been taken to a local hospital. The
extent of his injuries remains unclear. Between 500 and 1000 liters of
the acid reportedly leaked, but apparently did not get into the water, where
it would have combined to produce a poisonous gas.
||October 30, 2006
Teams from around the region yesterday were trying to recapture about 1,500
gallons of sulfuric acid that escaped from a tank near the Granby town line
Monday night and forced the cancellation of school in South Hadley and the
evacuation of 88 households in Granby and South Hadley. A police
officer was treated for exposure to sulfuric acid fumes. In Granby, 68
households were evacuated as a precaution following the spill about 8 p.m.
on Monday at Presstek Inc., 755 New Ludlow Road. The liquid leaked
into a cement holding pit. On Tuesday, the evacuation was extended to
include 20 homes on East Street in South Hadley because the spill formed a
gas inside the building.
||October 20, 2006
||Vero Beach, Florida
||City Water Plant
officials were busy cleaning up 50 to 80 gallons of sulfuric acid that
leaked from a pump at the Water Plant. The leak began about 11:08 p.m.
Thursday when the pump moving the acid failed to transfer some of the liquid
to a holding container. The acid is used to remove impurities from
drinking water. The pump has a shut-off valve but it was below the leak,
making it impossible for staff to manually shut off the pump without getting
burned by the acid. Unable to stop the leak, which was seeping acid at a
rate of about a gallon a minute, staff called the Indian River County's
Hazardous Materials squad, a group of firefighters trained to clean
hazardous chemical spills. The squad spent about two hours assessing the
leak, turning off the pump and making sure there was no other damage done to
the plant. said the leak was contained to a concrete pad and did not run
off into the ground.
October 11, 2006
One eastbound lane of Hwy. 401 near Milton remains closed this morning after
diesel fuel and sulfuric acid leaked from a tractor-trailer after it
collided with a car last night. Sulfuric acid
leaked onto the highway in a “small amount,” which was “immediately
contained”. Emergency crews were called to
the eastbound 401 just past Hwy. 6 where the two vehicles collided, sending
a female in the car to Hamilton General Hospital with what appeared to be
non life-threatening injuries just before 7 p.m.
All eastbound lanes at the site of the collision were closed down as
hazardous materials crews clean up the acid and fuel, and the
tractor-trailer is removed from the ditch. The
Ministry of Environment has also been called in to investigate.
October 10, 2006
Hazardous material crews are at the scene of a spill at an east side
chemical plant. Crews were called just before
noon on Tuesday to Chemsol Products, at East 163rd Street and St. Clair.
Officials said there was a sulfuric acid spill there when a 3,000-gallon
tank leaked about 1,000 gallons into a secondary containment dike.
About 20 gallons leaked into the ground, a small amount of which may
have leaked into the sewer system. No boil
alerts have been issued and there have been no evacuations.
|October 07, 2006
Prince George, British Columbia
Prince George RCMP were called to help out in diverting traffic along
Highway 97 last night after a southbound CN train had a fire on several
sulfur cars. The Bear Lake fire department had evacuated homes
adjacent to the tracks in Bear Lake as the train moved south to a
location where the fire could be fought without increasing risk to
neighbours. The Prince George Fire Dispatch and Bear Lake Fire
Department decided the best way to deal with this kind of fire was with a
water fog so they wouldn't create any dangerous gases. The train moved
to a spot about 2 kilmetres south of Bear Lake, near Hart Lake. That
spot was chosen as there was more than enough water supply, and any possible
fumes would not endanger the community to the north. The
Bear Lake Fire Department responded with two pumper units and crews in
breathing aparatus. They extinguished the fire and the train continued
southbound to a spot on the outskirts of Prince George where Prince George
Fire Crews inspected the cars. Because there needed to be a
safety zone of 800 metres from the tracks, all traffic on highway 97 north
of the city was blocked. It took firefighters about 45 minutes
to ensure the cars were safe, and traffic backed up for about a
quarter of mile in either direction. Thee were no injuries, but the
cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
October 4, 2006
An accidental gas release at the Valero refinery in east Houston sent nearly 30 workers
to area hospitals, where they were treated for respiratory complaints.
Alarms sounded about 9:30 a.m. when sulfur dioxide gas from a sulfuric acid
tank escaped into the atmosphere at the refinery on Central near Manchester.
It prompted an evacuation of workers and a shelter-in-place order for the
surrounding neighborhood and several schools near the refinery that lasted
about 45 minutes. The leak was quickly contained, and workers were
allowed back inside the refinery shortly after 1 p.m.
The refinery had just begun a 40-day maintenance turnaround that closed
the entire plant. Sulfur dioxide gas leaked from a sulfuric acid tank
||September 28, 2006
||Four workers at an
acid recycling plant at the Port of Shreveport-Bossier were burned after
they were accidentally sprayed with sulphuric acid. Three plant employees
and one contract worker were burned. The injuries were not
The accident is under investigation but it appears that there was some type
of mechanical failure that lead to the accident.
The injured suffered first- and second-degree burns to their necks, with one
person sustaining facial burns. All were taken to the burn center at LSU
Hospital in Shreveport.
|September 26, 2006
||A trucking company
worker damaged a pressurized tank containing sulfur dioxide releasing a
cloud of gas that sickened dozens of people. 51 people were decontaminated
and taken to three hospitals but none of the injuries was considered
serious. One firefighter also was taken to a hospital for breathing
difficulties. Those who were treated had respiratory problems. Sulfur
dioxide irritates the eyes and lungs. The accident happened at about 3 p.m.
as a worker was attempting to dismantle a pressurized tank similar to a
welding tank at Full Circle Carriers, a trucking company. While working on
it, he snapped the neck of it off, which released a cloud that traveled
across the street and sickened several people.
Police closed roads leading into the area, an industrial section near Port
Elizabeth. The cloud of gas sickened dozens at Columbia Containers, a truck
yard across the street from Full Circle. Victims were decontaminated at the
scene. When they got to Trinitas, they underwent a second decontamination in
a yellow tent with hoses before being taken inside.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
||Intense flames and
sulphur dioxide gas spewed into the air as a flash fire burned at a natural
gas plant just north of the city early yesterday morning.
Hwy. 2A at the intersection of Hwy. 72, was shut down by Airdrie
RCMP and the Calgary Fire Department hazardous materials unit for almost two
hours, as a sulphur-dioxide cloud formed above the Crossfield Prime West
Energy plant. One person suffered minor injuries
||September 4, 2006
||A total of 184
people were hospitalised in central China's Hubei province after suffering
sulphur dioxide poisonning. All but ten were
discharged later. The accident occurred on Sunday evening when sulphur
dioxide leaked from the Hubei Yihua Dajiang Fertiliser Co. The leakage sent
184 local residents living more than a kilometre from the site to hospital,
local officials said. By Monday,
163 had been released from hospital while 10 were still being treated for
August 29, 2006
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
chemical spill shut down the main street through downtown Austell during the
morning commute. A dump truck overturned about 7 a.m. at C&S Chemicals on
Railroad Avenue, knocking a hole in a tank of sulfuric acid. About 200
gallons of the acid, which the company used to manufacture bleach, spilled
from the tank. The acid was contained to company property, and no injuries
were reported. A two-block stretch of Veterans Memorial Highway — the major
route through the south Cobb County town — remained closed at 9:30 a.m. No
evacuations were ordered, but a nearby lumber yard and a couple of other
small businesses in the immediate area were asked to delay opening.
Silver City, New Mexico
|Crews have spent
hours so far cleaning up New Mexico Highway 90 after a tractor-tanker loaded
with 3,000 gallons of sulfuric acid overturned south of Silver City.
An undetermined amount of acid leaked from the tanker and flowed away from
the road after a pickup truck crashed head-on into the tanker.
Both drivers were taken to area hospitals, and police say a first responder
was also hospitalized for breathing fumes from the tanker.
The Grant County Emergency Management hazardous materials unit and Phelps
Dodge workers distributed lime to neutralize the acid.
The owner of the tanker, mine contractor CTI of Arizona, dispatched a team
from its Tucson headquarters to complete cleanup yesterday.
September 6, 2006 - The state Environment Department is
tracking company to clean up groundwater contamination from a spill of
sulfuric acid in the crash near Silver City.
The acid flowed along N.M. 90 and about a half mile down an arroyo on Phelps
Dodge Mining Co. property 10 miles south of town after an Aug. 14 crash
between two vehicles _ one of them a Chemical Transportation Inc. truck
hauling the acid for Phelps Dodge.
Low pH in groundwater is not a primary
health concern, but such low pH causes contaminants such as heavy metals to
more easily dissolve into groundwater.
Although Phelps Dodge is not responsible for the spill, the mining company
is helping the trucking firm with the cleanup.
6, 2006 - SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) -
Officials say it’ll take an additional three to four weeks to clean up a
sulfuric acid spill on New Mexico 90, south of Silver City.
A tanker truck loaded with about 3,000 gallons of acid collided with a
pickup truck August 14th. About 500 gallons of the acid
spilled on the highway and adjacent property.
The tanker is owned by Arizona-based Chemical Transportation Incorporated.
A company official, Jack Smith, says the cleanup likely will cost more than
$250,000. Crews have excavated more than 12,000 cubic yards of soil.
|August 14, 2006
||Police arrested one
person in connection with the accident in which six persons had suffered
burns while they were riding on the Tirunelveli National Highway after they
had slipped and fell on the sulphuric spillage from the tanker last
Thursday. They also picked up five acid tanker
drivers for interrogation in this connection. On
the order issued by the Superintendent of Police, Senthamarai Kannan the
Police picked up the five drivers on Sunday who had the permit for
transporting acid on the day when the incident had taken place, following
which Madasamy (40) was arrested and his tanker was seized.
||August 9, 2006
Just after 11:00, the chemical company on Industrial Way, was restarting its
machinery following a brief maintenance shut down. When the equipment
fired up, a plume of sulphur dioxide was released, and the wind carried
the emissions to the Rustad Sawmill plant. Thirteen sawmill
workers were rushed to hospital in Prince George Wednesday after being
overcome by fumes from a nearby chemical plant that manufactures sulphuric
acid and liquid sulphur dioxide. Fire officials say a large dark cloud
of sulphur dioxide drifted across the tracks from the nearby Marsulex plant
to the sawmill on Wednesday morning. But workers at Canfor's Rustad
planer mill didn't develop breathing difficulties for several hours.
Seven of them were taken to the Prince George Regional Hospital by
ambulance, while the other six were able to make their own way to the
emergency ward. The 13 victims were treated with oxygen for 90
minutes and then released. Canfor's Prince George manager Mark
Feldinger says workers are angry and frustrated by the incident, and he says
there are a lot of questions that need answering. "We'll be dealing
with the appropriate regulatory agencies and Marsulex to find out what their
procedures are, what the regulatory requirements are and what we need to do
to protect our employees." The sawmill was closed for a few hours with
all employees sent home, but it has resumed operations with the afternoon
||August 3, 2006
of residents were evacuated from their homes amid fears of a terrorist
attack on a bus. Police and fire crews rushed to
the scene after a mystery chemical began to fizz after it was spilt on a
number 21 bus in Southgate Road, Islington.
Several roads were cordoned off and residents were alarmed to see men in
bright yellow and orange decontamination suits surrounding the bus.
After a thorough investigation fire crews discovered that the spilt chemical
was the highly corrosive sulphuric acid. The
Health and Safety Executive website says that inhalation of the mist given
off by sulphuric acid when it is exposed to the air will cause severe
irritation of the lungs and throat and may increase the risk of cancer.
But the acid turned out to have been spilt by a cleaner who immediately
notified the driver.
|August 3, 2006
||A cargo ship
carrying 200 tons of sulfuric acid sank in the Grand Canal in Hangzhou, East
China's Zhejiang Province. Some of the acid spilled into the water. A
rescue team comprised of maritime, environmental, and fire control
departments was established to deal with the situation. No one was injured
in the accident. Officials dumped liquid alkali into the contaminated water
to neutralize the acid. The section of the canal was closed for 12 hours.
November 17, 2006
- A Chinese shipowner was arrested on Friday following a spill of sulphuric
acid which forced more than 1,500 residents to evacuate and killed fish by
the thousands. Xu Changjun, 41, would face unspecified criminal
charges for the spill in August on the Grand Canal, a 900-year-old waterway
in east China, Xinhua news agency said.
July 6, 2007 -
A Chinese court sentenced a ship owner and captain to three years in jail
for not preventing an accident that dumped 200 tons of sulfuric acid into
the 900-year-old Grand Canal last year, state media said Friday. The
Yuhang People's Court in east China's Hangzhou city on Wednesday convicted
the cargo ship's owner, Xu Changjun, and the captain, Liu Guanhe, of
allowing their vessel to dump the chemical into the water last August, the
official Xinhua News Agency said.
The report said the ship had been damaged and repaired a month before the
accident but failed to undergo a required safety check before being put back
into operation. The two men tried to use liquid soap, glue, and iron
flakes to patch holes in the ship when it started to leak and kept sailing
until it capsized, it said. They alerted local authorities only after two
thirds of the ship was underwater. Local authorities were forced to
pour 900 tons of liquid alkali into the waterway to neutralize the acid
after the spill. Xinhua said the men were also ordered to pay 23,200
yuan ($3,050) in compensation to two downstream fishing companies that
suffered economic losses from the pollution.
China's waterways are dangerously polluted after decades of rapid economic
growth and lax enforcement of pollution controls. A quarter of the
length of the country's seven main river systems are so polluted that even
touching the water is harmful to skin, the vice minister of China's State
Environmental Protection Agency, Pan Yue, told state media earlier this
week. Seven of the nine major lakes the agency monitors were equally toxic.
|July 29, 2006
expected to spend at least all of Saturday night and most of today clearing
a 16-car derailment that happened at about 6 p.m. Saturday in north
Stockton. Cars containing sulfuric acid and chlorine were expected to
require special attention. No chemicals spilled during the crash. No
injuries were reported as of Saturday night and the cause of the derailment
was still under investigation.
|July 29, 2006
Services say sabotage could be behind a sulphuric acid spill on the N1
highway outside Tshwane, towards Polokwane. Emergency services say on
arrival at the scene at the Panorama Petroport, they discovered that both
valves of the tanker transporting the acid were open. They say it is still
too early to conclude that sabotage was at play, but expect police to
investigate the possibility. An emergency services spokesperson, said over
20 000 litres of the highly toxic sulphuric acid will now have to be cleaned
up by the Spillage Response Team. The operation was expected to take over
July 28, 2006
Paulding County, Georgia
tanker truck carrying sulfuric acid overturned in Dallas Friday, just before
10 a.m. near the city's two major intersections, Ga. 61 and Ga. 278. The
accident will slow traffic into the evening. Emergency crews evacuated
several shopping centers in the area as well as the Hillcrest apartments. A
tanker for the cleanup effort was en route from Chattanooga.
|July 28, 2006
||Ho Chi Minh City,
||A car accident in Ho
Chi Minh City Friday morning caused 12,000 liters of sulfuric acid to spill
over the trans-Asia roadway in Thu Duc District, sending 10 people to the
emergency room. A lorry carrying four tanks of acid was
forced over the lane divider by an overtaking container truck, the tumble
causing the hazardous liquid to spill over 200 meters of road. Many
passersby fled from the poisonous white fumes, but many were caught and
found later burned and unconscious.
Three fire trucks were later dispatched to flush out the poisonous liquid.
The fumes were powerful enough to destroy many neighborhood TV sets,
refrigerators, motorbikes and other property.
July 26, 2006
Salt Lake City, Utah
teams issued evacuation notices in an area of west Salt Lake because of a
chemical spill. High
winds toppled a huge tank of hydrochloric acid.
The spill was contained in a bunded area
but the acid began eating away at a tank that
contains 10,000 gallons of sulfuric
acid located in the same bunded area.
The Asst. Chief, Salt Lake City Fire said
"The other tank of sulfuric acid is corroding. We made the determination,
along with the company employees, that we could no longer solve this
problem." An area around the plant was evacuated.
sulphuric acid regeneration plant released a gas plume this morning from a
scrubber that spurred Contra Costa County's hazardous-materials department
to send out a brief alert. An "upset" to a scrubber that cleans out
impurities in gases before open-air release resulted in the plume's release
from the plant in the 100 block of Mococo Road shortly after 8 a.m. Rhodia
spokesman said the plume was "very brief and small" and happened when a tube
came loose up on a tower. The plant operators elected to file the
notifications with the county as a precaution should there be any inquiries
or concerns. Operations at the plant were never impacted. Most of those
gases were water vapor, but also some sulfur dioxide within permitted
amounts to be released.
||A box of batteries
fell off a flatbed truck onto the roadway, spilling acid and shutting down
the busy northbound Interstate Highway 680 at the state Highway 24
interchange near Walnut Creek for several hours. CHP Officer Scott Yox said
that the spill was reported at 10:39 a.m. after a box holding 18 forklift
batteries jostled loose from a flatbed truck transporting forklifts. The
box of batteries hit the road and one of the batteries bounced up and
smashed into the windshield of a dark blue Ford Explorer. Broken glass and
battery acid struck a 16-year-old passenger riding in the Ford Explorer.
The girl was treated at the scene and then taken to a nearby hospital. The
driver was also taken to the hospital for scratches from the broken glass.
Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Specialist Paul Andrews said that
Hazmat teams neutralized the acid. They used a sodium carbonate to
neutralize the acid. Once the sodium carbonate was on the acid, it only
took minutes to neutralize it.
The CHP, the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, the San Ramon
Valley Fire Hazardous Materials Team, the Contra Costa County Hazardous
Materials Programs and Caltrans were on the scene
July 20, 2006
||THREE workers at
Sino Acid plant in Chambishi were injured in an accident.
Kalulushi district commissioner Joshua Mtisa has advised Sino Acid
Zambia owners to improve safety standards so that accidents can be avoided.
Meanwhile, Leach Plant chief executive officer Xie also assured Mtisa who
went to make an on-the-spot check, that all the dangerous and high risk jobs
would now be done by Chinese nationals. Xie
confirmed the accident, which occurred around 10:00 hours on Tuesday.
He said a four-metre acid tank lid blew off when some workers were trying to
weld a tank in order to block a leakage. He said
the new tank, which was tested between July 13 and 15 contained 300 tonnes
of sulphuric acid and because of pressure the lid flew off about 20 metres
away, causing panic at the plant. Xie said the
victims, Reagan Mulenga, Pearson Masheka and Maybin Kalumba who are admitted
at SinaZam Hospital, formerly Nkana Mine Hospital in Kitwe, were injured as
they were trying to run away from the accident scene.
“We are really sorry about this accident, we appreciate government’s
concern. We feel sorry but we are doing our best to rectify the problem,” he
assured. “All the dangerous jobs will be done by the Chinese because we love
this country.” And Mtisa told Xie that as a
former miner, he believed that accidents of such nature could be avoided by
improving safety standards. He hoped that the
investigations would be concluded soon. “The
memories of the BGRIMM accident where many lives were lost are still fresh
in the minds of the people and we can’t afford to have another disaster,” he
said. “Human life is very important in such operations.”
and members of the state Hazardous Materials Team worked hours to contain a
toxic chemical spill that injured one person. Two maintenance workers were
at the company and were attempting to evacuate some sulfuric acid out of
tubs that treat the metal. It was a 137 gallon mix of water and sulfuric
acid. The workers were attempting to remove the sulfuric acid with a
vacuum-type device that sucks it out when something caused a chemical
reaction. The liquid started to foam and released some toxic vapors, and
one of the men suffered from burns in his mucous membranes and lungs. The
injured man was transported to Holyoke Medical Center for evaluation, but no
further information was available. The moving of the sulfuric acid is part
of the normal process at the company, but the reaction in the vacuum was not
normal. Emergency response teams did some testing in an attempt to
neutralize it and it kept reacting. Crews attempted to neutralize it with
sodium bicarbonate and soda ash and it kept changing. It was finally
diluted with water and the liquid was placed in a storage container.
June 24, 2006
Vicente Lim, Laguna, Philippines
The Philippine Coast Guard on Sunday assured the public that a barge loaded
with sulfuric acid, which was reported early Saturday to have sunk off the
waters of Bauan, Batangas, did not cause a major spill in the Batangas Bay.
A conflicting report stated that the ill-fated Billy Star spilled a minimal
portion of its 1,270 tonnes of sulfuric acid as it sank on Batangas Bay.
Lieutenant Commander Darryl Vargas, duty officer of the Coast Guard regional
office in Batangas City, said they had completely contained the toxic
chemical from the Billy Star barge. The sunken vessel had been
cordoned off to avoid any potential environmental destruction it might
bring. Despite the heavy rains brought by typhoon “Domeng,” Coast
Guard personnel were able to bring the barge to a drydock. The barge
has been undergoing repair since June 14 at the shipyard of Keppel drydock
in barangay (village) San Miguel, Bauan town when the incident was reported
at around 12:40 a.m. Saturday. The barge came from Romblon and was
undergoing repair after its bullet tank containing 1,270 metric tons of
sulphuric acid was damaged by typhoon “Caloy” last month.
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources on Monday warned Batangas City
residents against eating fish caught in Batangas Bay after a barge loaded
with sulfuric acid sank off the coast of Bauan town Saturday.
July 6, 2006 - THE Philippine Coast Guard will start this Thursday or on
Friday a cleanup of the Batangas Bay, where a barge containing more than
1,000 tons of sulfuric acid sank in late June, an official said Wednesday.
The Coast Guard has hired Hideya Waste Management Corp. to do the cleanup,
and a British insurance company that covers the sunken Billy Star barge will
shoulder the cost, said Antonio Principe, regional environmental director
for the Southern Tagalog region. The sulfuric acid will be transferred
from the four “bullet tanks” of Billy Star to another vessel, where the
chemical will be neutralized, Principe told reporters. The neutralized
acid will then be disposed 25 nautical miles southeast of Lubang Island
June 20, 2006
Matshiloni Village, South Africa
||29 000 litres of
concentrated sulphuric acid spilled near Matshiloni Village, 50km from
Beitbridge, after a tanker, in transit to Zambia, burst a front tyre and
overturned. The Civil Protection Unit and a team from South Africa reacted
swiftly to contain and neutralise the spill to minimise danger and
environmental damage but there is concern that some acid was collected by
bus passengers who mistook it for diesel. The tanker driver escaped with
minor injuries and was rushed to Beitbridge Hospital where he was treated
and discharged. The vehicle, owned by a South African company, was
travelling from Pretoria to Zambia on the Beitbridge-Masvingo Road when it
overturned at 4am.
|June 3, 2006
A chemical spill sparked an emergency clean-up and a potential environmental
disaster was narrowly avoided when a tanker carrying 25 tonnes of sulphuric
acid began to leak. Police and emergency services cordoned off an area at
the Caltex roadside truck stop on the Flinders Highway about 6.50am as the
boiling sulphuric acid threatened to leak into nearby Stoney Creek.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service teams, police and ambulance officers
spent most of the day in attendance while Chemtrans employees cleaned up the
spill. Chemtrans North Queensland operations manager estimated about two
tonnes of sulphuric acid had leaked into the ground. A valve on the tank,
which had been replaced just a week earlier, had failed, causing the
chemical to spill.
The sulphuric acid
was headed for a mine in the Northern Territory where it would be used to
extract metal from ore. About five tonnes of hydrated lime was used to
neutralise the acid spill. A backhoe removed the contaminated lime and
soil from the area and took it to a recognised dump site.
The remaining acid was decanted into another
||A freight train
struck a tractor-trailer rig hauling sulfuric acid, just after it pulled out
of the Akzo-Nobel chemical plant on U.S. 43 in the Axis area injuring four
people and causing eight train cars to derail.
Three men and a woman were injured in the crash.
None of the sulfuric acid was spilled from the
tank trailer being hauled by the rig. It ended up wedged between two
derailed train cars. None of the train cars
overturned, and nothing spilled from them when they derailed.
The train hit the cab of the truck and not the tank filled with
A section of Frame Park was blocked off with bright yellow caution tape
Monday morning as authorities dealt with a chemical spill in a small stream
leading into the Fox River. About 350
gallons of sulphuric acid entered the Fox River through a storm drain when a
container full of sulphuric acid broke open at the International Truck &
Engine Corp. When the container broke attempts were made to contain
the spill within the boundary of the company but the attempts were not
successful and the acid entered the river.
||About 100 gallons of
a sulfuric acid solution spilled onto a street when a refrigeration line at
a campus cooling facility backed up. No injuries were reported. An
employee at the University of Arizona's Central Refrigeration Plant called
emergency crews around 1:45 p.m. when a water line backed up in one of the
coolant tanks. The backup caused about 300 gallons of a solution containing
40 percent sulfuric acid to spill into a containment field, eventually
spilling 100 gallons into the street. A Tucson Fire hazardous material crew
was able to neutralize the spill using sodium bicarbonate. Sulfuric acid is
used to treat the water in the cooling plant.
May 16, 2006
Police and fire dispatchers say six cars of the C-S-X freight train left the
track around 4 a-m. No injuries are reported but the mishap is blocking
traffic at Tremont and Somerset Streets. Authorities are
checking unconfirmed reports that one car was carrying sulfuric acid, but
they say there is no leakage and no evacuations have been ordered.
May 12, 2006
Sulfuric acid splashed on two workers sending them to a hospital today and
forcing the evacuation of a Westside aluminum fabricator.
Wayne Township firefighters said 20 gallons of sulfuric acid spilled inside
Magnode Corp., 4151 W. Washington Street, about 10:45 a.m.
About 100 employees were evacuated and Marion County sheriff’s deputies
stopped traffic on Washington between Holt and Lynhurst roads.
Employees inside the plant were transferring the acid from a delivery
tanker. “They were trying to fill a sulfuric tank,” co-owner
Marianne Walter said. “There was too much pressure and it blew a pipe and
acid sprayed.” Two workers were taken to Methodist Hospital. No
conditions were immediately available, but fire officials said their
injuries were not life threatening. Walter identified one of the
victims as supervisor Norm Carpenter. The name of the other worker was not
released. Firefighters were cleaning up the spill.
May 11, 2006
Fieldsboro, New Jersey
A broken valve allowed sulfuric acid vapors to be released from a tanker
truck at the Stepan Co. chemical plant yesterday, prompting authorities to
halt service on a nearby section of the River Line light rail for two hours.
State police said the incident was reported about 10:20 a.m. after vapors
were discovered coming from the acid-filled tanker. Stepan
employees quickly evacuated the area, as state troopers, firefighters,
emergency medical personnel and the Burlington County hazardous materials
team rushed to the plant. The vapors released from the tanker were
concentrated in an area of about 50-by-50 feet, but because the wind was
blowing toward the railroad tracks, NJ Transit, as a precaution, suspended
service on the River Line between the Roebling and Bordentown stations.
State police said hazardous materials team members were able to shut off the
damaged valve and stop the release. The vapors that had already vented soon
dissipated, state police said. Emergency personnel left the plant and
River Line service was restored by about 12:30 p.m., state police said.
May 10, 2006
Wednesday worked to clean up about 200 gallons of sulfuric acid that leaked
from a tank at a west Ventura linen and uniform service and ended up in a
storm drain. Ventura city firefighters cordoned off part of the 100 block
of North Olive Street after responding to a 6:50 a.m. call from Mission
Linen employees who had found the acid leaking from an above-ground
container. Mission Linen representatives told authorities they had a
chemical delivery overnight and a 400-gallon container of sulfuric acid was
half-empty and liquid was on the ground when employees arrived Wednesday
morning. The liquid ran down a driveway and into a nearby storm drain,
according to fire officials. About 18 firefighting units, including ones
from the Ventura, Oxnard and county fire departments, as well as county
Environmental Health officials responded to the spill. Authorities found
acid in a drain where Olive intersects with West Main Street, about a
half-block from Mission Linen. Storm drains on either side of that
location and toward the Ventura River checked out OK. Crews stopped the
spill from spreading, then unsuccessfully tried to fix the slow leak from
the tank Wednesday afternoon. Firefighters had to wait for a company to
vacuum out the tank before the cleanup could be finished. Authorities
planned to continue an investigation into the leak, including why the tank
April 26, 2006
accident plan was activated after four 40 gallon barrels fell from an
articulated truck onto the main N28 road between Ringaskiddy and Carrigaline
in Co Cork at 10:15am. There were unconfirmed reports that the truck,
which was coming from The Carbon Group plant in Ringaskiddy, had to swerve
and brake suddenly to avoid a car just off the Shannon Park roundabout. It
is understood cables designed to hold the barrels in place broke loose.
Gardaí, fire brigade crews from Cork city, Carrigaline and Crosshaven, and
environmental officials from Cork County Council rushed to the scene and
cordoned off a large area. Fire brigade crews, dressed in special chemical
suits, sprayed the road with soda ash to neutralise the acid, which,
according to fire officers, was 96% concentrated. Nobody was reported
April 21, 2006
A Montana truck driver was killed in a collision with another rig on
Interstate 80 in eastern Nevada. Investigators said a rig driven
by Forrest Smith, 48, of Crescent Valley, was westbound on the interstate,
climbing a steep grade at a slow speed last night when a tractor-trailer
driven by Nathan Folsom, 54, of Ennis, Mont., drove up behind him.
Folsom apparently underestimated Smith’s speed as he closed in. He hit
the brakes and steered sharply to the left, but clipped the rear of Smith’s
vehicle. Folsom was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected. He
died at the scene. Smith’s last trailer contained sulfuric acid,
but it was not breached and no leakage was detected. He was not hurt.
The interstate was limited to one lane in each direction for about seven
April 20, 2006
A toxic chemical spill triggered a rush-hour alert at Hamilton docks as
firefighters wearing breathing masks raced to contain a sulphuric acid scare
on the Bermuda Islander container ship. Emergency crews hosed
down the top deck of the boat, where the bulk of a 250 litre drum of the
substance had leaked during the trip from New Jersey. Nobody was
injured in the incident. Lt. Wenda Godfrey, of the Bermuda Fire
Service, said it appeared that one of six sulphuric acid tubs stored on a
palette on the Islander had slipped off and leaked. The palette was
removed from the Islander once it arrived in Hamilton. Some of
the sulphuric acid still in the leaking drum appeared to spill on the docks
before firefighters covered the affected area in sand. Inquiries were
ongoing to find out who owned the chemical at the centre of the scare. “At
this stage we do not know who it belongs to,” she added, stating that it
looked like a strap had slipped off one of the drums during the voyage.
Lt. Godfrey said such spills were rare. A fire service emergency plan to
deal with chemical spills swung into action yesterday, although an emergency
support unit on the dockside, dealing with hazardous material leaks, was not
Six fire trucks and eleven firefighters attended the call out just before 9
a.m. yesterday, when the rush-hour commute was in full flow. Bermuda
Islander arrived in Hamilton at about 8.15 a.m. And Maurice Brimmer,
superintendent at Hamilton docks, said staff were aware of the spill as soon
as the boat berthed, carrying a total of 123 containers. “We were
alerted by the personnel on the boat,” added Mr. Brimmer, who said he was
not certain how the chemical spilled on the deck, although a hole in the
drum may have been behind the leak. An eyewitness said that a morning
downpour led to the acid “smoking up” from the floor around the palette,
before firefighters quickly moved to sand it down during the clean-up
April 18, 2006
A fire broke out during the start-up process of the SA-3 plant in Gujarat
State Fertilizer Company (GSFC) near Chhani on Tuesday evening. Five
plant staffers sustained 30 to 40 per cent burn injuries in the mishap.
The incident created alarm and confusion among angry staffers when the
injured were not provided with proper medical aid on time. The
accident occured around 6 pm during the start-up process, following a
shut-down process of the SA-3 plant two days back. A back fire from
the acid unit that trapped five men. Later, the fire also caused
damage to the acid pipeline carrying sulphuric acid to the unit.
April 13, 2006
A truck carrying sulphuric acid rolled over on a highway in northwestern
Ecuador, killing the driver and spilling its chemical cargo into the river
that provides the drinking water for the city of Santo Domingo de los
Colorados, Ecuavisa television reported. The accident occurred near
the town of Alluriquin, some 120 kilometers (about 75 miles) southwest of
Quito, on the highway that links the mountainous region of the country to
the coast. The truck driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel,
Ecuavisa reported, citing witnesses. Sulphuric acid spilled into the
Toachi River, but officials in the city of Santo Domingo de los Colorados
said the chemical should not pose a hazard to the city's residents.
Residents of Alluriquin, however, told Ecuavisa that white foam formed on
the surface of the Toachi River and they feared the chemical would kill fish
and other wildlife.
April 7, 2006
||One person was
charred to death and three others injured when a tanker lorry containing
sulphuric acid caught fire after colliding with another lorry filled with a
chemical powder. The driver of the Goa-bound tanker lorry died on the
spot. The injured, including the driver of the other vehicle, were
hospitalised. The tanker lorry was proceeding from the Tuticorin Sterlite
company, while the other vehicle from Andhra Pradesh was bound for Erode
when the mishap occurred at 06:00 hrs. Four fire tenders put out the fire
after a three-hour struggle.
April 6, 2006
Approximately, 16 cubic metres of concentrated sulphuric acid was spilled
after a tanker veered off the road and into a ditch on trunk road 2 in
Finland on Thursday. The accident happened in Pori in the Satakunta
province. Rescuers said the road could not be safely reopened for
traffic before midday. No one was hurt even though the tanker ploughed
through the median barrier and through oncoming traffic. The road surface
was extremely slippery at the time of the accident.
April 4, 2006
A massive clean-up operation on the Brussels ring road ended at about 11pm,
some five hours after a collision involving two trucks. The tail-end
collision took place on the internal ring just before the Vilvoorde
junction. About 5,000lr of acid made up of phosphoric acid, sulfuric
acid and sulfates was spilled across the road surface by a leaking tanker.
The DHL truck was carrying 20,000lr of acid when the accident took place at
about 4pm. No one was injured in the collision, but the acid spill
forced one side of the motorway to be sealed off, leading to long traffic
delays. Residents and companies were urged to keep windows shut and to
stay indoors. The acid is hazardous for the skin, eyes and breathing.
And the effects of the acid worsen when mixed with water, meaning emergency
services could not simply hose the liquid off the road. A truck with chalk
was called in. Once mixed with chalk, the acid is neutralised. The
remaining 15,000lr was pumped from the damaged tanker to another DHL truck
and the road was given the all clear at about 11pm. Motorists on the
ring road were diverted via the A12 and the exits Grimbergen and the
military hospital of Neder-over-Heembeek. Traffic jams extended to 20km.
Motorists were ordered to keep their windows shut and turn off their car air
March 30, 2006
Paddi, Quepem, India
A tanker truck carrying sulphuric acid went off the road in the early
morning leading to spillage of the entire content of 30 tonne on the ground
and contaminating a nearby rivulet. This caused a fear among the
people in the area as the vehicle continued to remain in the same position
till late evening. The tank truck was carrying sulphuric acid from
Tuticorin destined to the Zuari Industries Ltd at Zuarinagar.
Immediately on noticing the contamination, the fire officials along with
officials of ZIL emptied 800 kg of chunnac (chalk) into the rivulet in a bid
to neutralise the acid content. Residents kept on thronging to
accident spot since morning and were told by the authorities of the hazards
that the acid could pose.
March 15, 2006
Quoin, Illinois, USA
A Canadian National (CN) train hauling sulfuric acid overturned just before
2 a.m. at a switching site on the company-owned tracks forcing the
evacuation of about 250 southern Illinois homes in a half-mile radius of the
accident. Emergency teams are evaluating the situation and have
implemented a 1/2 mile evacuation zone as a precaution. The train was
hauling four cars, including one that contained paper and two cars that were
empty. There was no leak from the tank car even though it rolled down
an embankment. Track crews were able to put the overturned sulfuric
tank car on a new set of trucks, and the car was to be taken to a siding
near Dubois today to have the sulfuric acid contents transferred to another
Three years ago, on February 9, 2003,
another Canadian National Railway train derailed in Tamaroa, Illinois, about
six miles from Wendesday's accident. In the 2003 derailment, toxic
chemicals spilled from the train, forcing the evacuation of more than 800
residents from a three-mile radius for more than a week.
February 28, 2006
||A sulfuric acid
spill has brought in hazmat teams to a large church campus in northwest
Atlanta. The spill on Tuesday afternoon happened at the Mt. Paran Church of
God's campus at the corner of Northside Parkway and Mt. Paran Road, just off
of Interstate 75. Construction workers were unloading some containers of
chemicals, but found one leaking. Nearby buildings that were downwind of
the spill have been evacuated, and according to rescue officials, hazmat
teams were called in as a precaution. The hazmat teams have set up a
decontamination tent, also as a precautionary measure. According to Atlanta
Fire Department Captain Byron Kennedy, winds have helped dissipate the acid
fumes, but regulations require an evacuation within at least 150 feet from a
sulfuric acid spill. No injuries have been reported.
February 8, 2006
||An acid tanker
overturned on the Tala bridge near Shyambazar in the northern part of the
metropolis. The tanker, carrying sulphuric acid, oveturned while speeding
away on the Tala bridge at around 7.50 a.m. Three fire tenders were
pressed into service to wash out the acid that leaked out of the tanker on
the road. No injury was caused due to the incident.
January 17, 2006
Taylor, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania
Transportation freight train derailed dumping 10,000 gallons of sulfuric
acid into a company rail yard. Seven freight cars overturned at about 10:30
a.m. at the yard in Taylor, about two miles south of New Castle. Emergency
workers using lime and a vacuum had the spill contained about noon. Nobody
was injured, said authorities. Favorable weather conditions and the spot of
the spill kept the situation from becoming serious. Winds blew away from
buildings where others were working, and the acid was dumped between two
sets of tracks that kept the material from spreading. Two of the seven
derailed cars were carrying sulfuric acid, but only one -- containing 10,000
to 13,000 gallons of the material – leaked. That tanker was gashed by the
coupling on another derailed car. The other five cars carried non-hazardous
freight. The cars were being moved in the yard when they derailed.
January 9, 2006
About 2,000 pounds of sulfuric acid leaked from a tractor-trailer after a
wreck on Interstate 71. No homes were evacuated, but the southbound
lanes were closed indefinitely for the cleanup. The collision of
two tractor-trailers — the other carrying isopropyl alcohol — may have been
caused by a crash a short time earlier and about a quarter-mile away.
When the trucks crashed, Oldham County police sought help from the Jefferson
County hazardous material team and the state fire marshal, as well as other
area fire and emergency units. Many emergency crews could reach the
scene only after the southbound lanes were closed, allowing them to drive
the wrong way in those lanes toward the crash site. One of the truck
drivers was flown by helicopter to University Hospital. The alcohol
carried in one of the trucks did not leak.
January 8, 2006
Jiangsu Province, China
A cargo ship carrying more than 460 tons of sulfuric acid on board sank into
the Yangtze River in eastern China's Jiangsu Province. No spill was
immediately detected. One crewmember was rescued while two others were
missing. The ship named Susuqian No. 498 was a transporting vessel
from Suqian City of east China's Jiangsu Province. It ran into reefs
and sank with three people aboard around 03:40 am in the morning. The
local government shut down the water intake of water factories along the
Yangtze River and was monitoring water conditions in the area. The
local maritime rescue team has begun salvaging the sunken ship and continues
to search for the two missing crewmembers.
December 9, 2005
southern Chinese cities were struck by chemical spill scares this week
following traffic accidents involving tanker trucks. The spills
happened as authorities try to solve a three-week crisis over a toxic slick
that polluted a northeastern river, forcing the shutdown of water supplies
to millions and raising alarm bells in Russia as it flows into that country.
The city of Hechi
in the southern Guangxi region went off high alert on Friday after winds
dispersed an "acidic mist" of poisonous yellow phosphorous escaping from a
tanker truck that overturned and ruptured on Wednesday. Many people in
the city of 200,000 were "overcome with nausea from the fumes".
Also on Wednesday, 23
tonnes of sulphuric acid poured out of a dangerously overloaded truck that
overturned near Guangxi's capital of Nanning. Fields around the crash
site were burnt black and tests had shown land further away was severely
The string of chemical spills and coal mine disasters raises questions about
the cost of China's breakneck economic boom as it rushes to meet insatiable
demand for energy and chemicals.
Nathkuva (Halol), India
A tanker full of oleum located outside Gujarat Fluorochemicals Limited (GFL)
plant compound leaked oleum. The factory manager called at 0145h
informing the villagers about the leakage and to cover their faces with damp
cloths and evacuate the village immediately. The area outside the
factory was covered in thick white fumes. Neighbours and some youths
were sent to wake up others. The Gogamba police sub-inspector sent
constables to the village to hurry up the evacuation but provided no police
vehicles. No vehicles or guidances were provided for evacuating the
A mock evacuation
drill had been conducted by the district authorities some months back but
none of the guidelines were followed by the authorities themselves.
Workers at the factory
reported that after the leakage occured, no siren was sounded. They
had no wind of what was happening outside the factory. Management had
vanished from the unit in their private vehicles. On discovering the
leakage, workers ran for their lives leaving the plant running.
sub-inspector and the mamlatdar arrived at the factory where the tanker had
leaked. But with no technical know-how they were of little help.
There were no sprinklers that could be turned on to ward off the fumes and
even the fire-fighters ran out of water. Ultimately, the tanker was
allowed to empty out its entire load of 11,000 litres of oleum and the fumes
cleared in eight hours due to natural wind course. There was no loss
of life. After the incident, about 392 people consisting mostly
of women and children from the village reported sick at the Ranjitnagar
public health centre after inhaling sulphuric acid fumes produced by oleum.
December 6, 2005
carrying sulfuric acid collided with a container truck in Pudong District of
Shanghai on Tuesday, leaking acid into a roadside watercourse which ends in
a pond. No casualties occurred in the accident. Rescuers have stemmed the
drainage outlet of the pond. Sulfuric acid contaminated an estimated 1,000
square meters of water surface. Investigators found that the container
truck, registered in Shandong, bumped into the rear tank of the tanker owned
by the Fourth Branch of the Shanghai Chemical Commodity Transportation Co.
and caused the accident. The two vehicles have been pulled away from the
accident site. Firefighters and relevant departments used water and caustic
soda to dilute the pollutant. Local environmental officials said the pond
water is used for greenery, not as a source for drinking water, and the
contamination has been brought under control. The accident does not post a
threat to the health of local residents, they said.
November 18, 2005
||The area around
an industrial estate in Borås was sealed off on Friday morning after 1,000
litres of sulphuric acid leaked from the premises of Brandsta Nordic
Chemical company. a acid was disocvered in in Borås on Friday morning. An
area with a radius of 50 metres around the factory buildings on the Viared
industrial estate was sealed off. The area was thoroughly cleaned on Friday
morning with chalk to stabilise the acid, which was then flushed in to tanks
inside the factory. The closest residential area was only one kilometre away
from the site but according to the police and rescue services the leak did
not pose any threat to people in the immediate area.
November 16, 2005
Authorities say residents here were forced to evacuate their homes after a
train derailed. About eight cars left a track owned by Stillwater
Central Railroad on a stretch located north of Britton Road between Hiawasse
and Sooner roads. Authorities say some of the cars were tankers.
Firefighters could not locate the engine that had been pulling the train.
An Oklahoma City Fire Department hazardous materials crew responded to the
scene. Reports are that molten sulfur was in the tanker that
October 18, 2005
Tampa, Florida, USA
||A storage tank
at the Port of Tampa ruptured Monday, leaking about 4,500 tons of molten
sulfur. Most of the spilled liquid was contained on land owned by Gulf
Sulfur Services, according to the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection and Tampa Port Authority. Three to four tons escaped into the
waters of Sparkman Canal, east of Harbour Island, where it was quickly
contained by the Coast Guard. No injuries were reported. The leak developed
at a broken weld. When Tampa Fire Rescue units arrived about 3:40 p.m.,
company employees were pumping the sulfur from the damaged tank to another
Pocatello, Idaho, USA
Four workers at J.R. Simplot's Don plant were treated and released from
hospital care Saturday night after an undetermined amount of sulfur dioxide
was accidentally released into the air in their vicinity. A valve was
mistakenly left closed within a system of ducts that transports the gas.
Computer monitors showed there was a system malfunction as gas built up at
the valve. After the system was shut down at 9:15 p.m., sulfur dioxide
seeped from a large vent for between 10 and 15 minutes. The sulfuric
acid plant had been shut down for repairs, and workers were in the midst of
starting it back up. A female laboratory technician complained of
nausea, a headache and a sore throat - classic signs of sulfur dioxide
inhalation. She and two men who were working outdoors within the facility
were transported to the hospital, where they were given oxygen and pain
relievers. A driver for Simplot's private plant ambulance, which
transported the three workers, also asked to be checked at the hospital.
Simplot will also investigate whether mechanical failure or operator error
is responsible for the shut valve. The incident was determined to be a
Level One emergency, meaning it was contained within the facility, there is
no cleanup necessary, no physical damage to the facility and it's
appropriate for Simplot to conduct the investigation on its own.
September 17, 2005
Two workers were killed and six injured following two explosions in Century
Rayon Factory at Shahad near Kalyan on Friday. Police held the company's
management and some private contractors carrying out installation work on
the factory premises responsible for the accident. The first blast took
place at 9.45 am and instantly killed two workers. They were working
on a 55,000-litre tank that was being installed in the factory. The
tank was filled with water to check for leaks. The water in the tank
came in contact with sulphuric acid that seeped out from an overhead pipe.
The gas formation increased the pressure inside the tank leading to the
explosion. The workers were thrown away to a distance by the impact of
the blast. It is likely that hydrogen gas formed inside the tank.
September 15, 2005
New Jersey, New York, USA
A several-mile stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike was closed for two hours
after a tractor-trailer, initially believed to be carrying sulfuric acid,
struck a car and caught on fire. Hazardous materials response
crews were called out because the tanker had a placard that indicated it
contained sulfuric acid. The fire department placed a protective layer
of foam around the truck while the cab fire was extinguished. The
tanker turned out to be empty. The tanker apparently sideswiped a car
while making a lane change.
August 31, 2005
A sulphuric acid leakage was reported at the decomposed pipeline of the
sufala plant of the public sector Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers (RCT)
Limited at Trombay.
According to RCF officials, a minor gas
leakage was noticed in the pipeline between 12.30 pm and 1.00 pm, and it was
soon brought under control. No casualties or damages were
reported, the officials said. Fire brigade sources said that
four fire tenders, one water tanker and one oxygen vehicle were rushed to
the spot to bring the gas leakage under control.
August 26, 2005
Rua San Tome, Panjim-Goa, India
In yet another mishap involving a vehicle carrying hazardous liquid, a
tanker carrying 18,000 litres of sulphuric acid swerved off the road and
turned turtle near the Forest Rest House at Poinguinim in the wee hours of
Friday. The tanker (KA-01-D -315) was proceeding to Zuari Nagar,
Vasco, for unloading. The two occupants of the vehicle including the driver
sustained injuries. According to Canacona police, the driver of the
vehicle drove his vehicle at the extreme left side. The soft soil could not
withstand the weight of the tanker and the vehicle overturned by the
roadside. SDPO Quepem Jayprakash Nagvekar along with Canacona PI Braz
Menezes and Margao Traffic PI Darmesh Angle rushed the site. The
slight leakage from the vehicle prompted Canacona fire services to rush to
the spot. Canacona Fire Station Officer P Prabhu Desai told Herald that he
immediately used one can of foam and neutralised the hazardous liquid.
Later, experts from Zuarinagar, Govind Lotlekar and Chetan Despande also
visited the site to initiated measures to prevent further leakage from the
tanker. This is the second mishap involving a tanker carrying
hazardous liquid within a gap of eight days, after a tanker carrying naphtha
turned turtle near Bendulem on August 19.
August 23, 2005
Fort Worth, Texas
A tanker truck filled with sulfuric acid fell on its side in north Fort
Worth, and tied up traffic near the Interstate 35W-Highway 287 split.
Hazardous-materials crews said there is no danger to drivers -- only delays
-- while crews cleaned up the mess and moved the truck. Less than 10 gallons
of sulfuric acid spilled, according to officials. The accident
occurred on southbound I-35W at the Highway 287 northbound ramp. The
18-wheeler was uprighted and lanes were opened on the freeway by 8 a.m.
August 18, 2005
San Jose, California, USA
About 100 gallons of a sulfuric and nitric acid mixture spilled from a tank
truck traveling on Highway 101 in San Jose causing traffic backups on the
highway. The tanker truck spill was caused by a leak and not an
overturn, so it was easier for crews to contain and clean up.
An additional 200 gallons was captured in containment vessels. The
rest of the acid was pumped directly from the leaking truck into another
The spill was on the dirt, so it was relatively easy to pick up
using a loader. The dirt was scooped up and put it in barrels and then
transported it to an industrial waste site. ``We were able to
collect the fluids that were leaking, so we were able to stop the vast
majority of the fuming. That really minimizes the problem for us. As long as
you can keep shoving tubs under there, you can handle it for a while.''
The trouble began shortly after 9 a.m. when the truck driver hauling 538
gallons of the acid mixture pulled over to the southbound side of the
highway just north of Bernal Road to try to fix a corroded valve.
Alarmed motorists called the California Highway Patrol to complain of a
stinging sensation. The truck driver was taken to Santa Clara Valley
Medical Center for observation. He inhaled acid vapor and some of the acid
splashed on his clothes, but he didn't sustain any serious injuries and was
released. There was no record of any problems with California Tank
Lines, the registered operator of the truck, over the last 15 years.
August 15, 2005
Chocolate Bayou (Houston), Texas
A barge carrying 425,000 gallons of sulfuric acid ran aground and began
leaking. Workers noticed the partially submerged barge about 2 a.m. Tuesday
en route to a Solutia Inc. terminal about 1.5 miles north of the FM 2004
bridge. The Coast Guard is monitoring the sulfuric acid spill.
The barge was moved about a quarter-mile to open Chocolate Bayou to make
removal of its cargo easier. Approximately 126,000 gallons of acid was
taken off tank barge MGM3030 onto a smaller barge. The acid was taken to a
storage facility. Officials were conducting tests to determine the
direction and density of the acid plume. The area is considered
ecologically important because it has significant wetlands and marshes that
provide habitat for wildlife. The tank barge was grounded Monday
evening (August 15) when it started to sink. The starboard bow of the barge
is now partially submerged. The tank barge and the cargo are owned by
Martin Product Sales. The transfer of 430,000 gallons of sulfuric acid
to another vessel from the barge was completed late Thursday, August 18.
The sulfuric acid was stored in two separate containers, but only a small
amount leaked into the bayou. The cause of the barge sink is
August 11, 2005
Santa Cruz, Mexico
24,000 gallons of sulfuric acid spilled from two train cars and contaminated
the Santa Cruz River. The contamination followed a derailment on the
FeroMex Railroad on Thursday, Aug. 11 at about 3 p.m. The accident
happened near the Santa Cruz River about 40 river miles south of the
international border in the vicinity of Santa Cruz, Mexico. Private
well-users in the South and North River Road areas and along State Route 82
were are asked to not use water from their wells until the situation is
mitigated. A team of emergency-management officials monitored the water
flow at the border throughout the night. Public works crews from Nogales and
Santa Cruz County built a number of berms in the river north of the border
about 1,000 feet apart. Firefighters from the Nogales Fire Department are
continuously testing the pH levels in the river. As of midnight on August
11, the pH had decreased to four. After being treated with lime, the pH
levels had risen to seven by 11 a.m. Friday.
August 11, 2005
A man was flown to the hospital Thursday morning, after he was suddenly
splashed with sulfuric acid at the American Express processing facility in
Taylorsville. Officials say that sulfuric acid is routinely used at
the facility as part of the company's processing, and it somehow came into
contact with the victim's face and arm. It wasn't immediately clear what the
unidentified man was doing at the time or how he came into contact with the
chemical. He was flown to the University of Utah Hospital's burn
unit in good condition.
Officials say the man was treated rather quickly, thanks to a
decontamination unit that is constantly stationed at the facility.
This is the second chemical spill at the American Express processing center
this month. A large barrel of sulfuric acid sprung a leak there on
August 5th. More than a dozen people were evacuated from the building in
that incident, but no one was hurt.
July 29, 2005
A head-on collision between a small pick-up truck and semi-truck carrying a
full load of sulphuric acid claimed one life and injured two other people.
The accident occurred at about 11 p.m. near mile marker 279 on the west side
of Bylas, about 2 miles from the Bylas bridge. The driver of the
pick-up truck was traveling west on Hwy. 70 when he crossed the center line
and ran head-on into a semi-truck carrying sulphuric acid. The
collision caused the semi to roll, killing the driver of the vehicle, whose
name was not released at the time of publication. He was declared dead at
the scene. Because the dome of the acid truck was breached, the scene
was declared a hazardous materials situation, and the San Carlos Police
Department was required to reroute traffic to the Coolidge Dam area until 2
p.m. on Saturday, causing delays for travelers on Hwy. 70. San Carlos
firefighters on the scene were treated at a Phoenix hospital for injuries
related to acid exposure. The truck involved in the accident was
carrying a sulfuric acid solution to be used in mining operations at the
Phelps Dodge Morenci mine. It was being transported by CTI trucking
July 13, 2005
||Discharge of 30
t sulphuric acid from loading arm that broke away during loading of tank
car. The spill was contained using soda ash.
July 6, 2005
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
firefighters were called to Color Inc. when a seam on a tank being filled
with sulfuric acid split open. Approximately 3,100 gallons of sulphuric
acid had just been pumped into the tank from a semi and it was unclear how
much acid spilled onto the ground. Eighteen people were evacuated from the
business, which anodizes aluminum. People were also evacuated from a nearby
June 22, 2005
Guadalajara, Mexico City
||At least three
dozen children and teachers got sick today from sulfuric acid fumes that
were released from a nearby chemical company. The victims suffered from
headaches, vomiting, nausea and throat irritation at the Licenciado
Francisco Medina Ascencia children's center. The victims were given oxygen
by emergency crews and taken to the hospital. The source of the fumes was
identified as Silicatos y Derivados, S.A. de C.V.
Panama Canal, Panama
||The escape of
sulfuric acid gas from a Norwegian ship transiting the Panama Canal caused
the visitors’ center at Miraflores Locks to be evacuated yesterday as a
security measure. All nonessential Canal operations personnel were also
evacuated until the ship completed its transit through the locks.
June 3, 2005
Fieldsboro, Pennsylvania, USA
suffered severe burns when they were accidentally sprayed with sulphuric
acid while working at Stepan Chemical Co. The mechanics were sprayed in
their faces with sulphuric acid that was contained in the line. The workers
believed the line to be empty. The workers suffered burns to the face and
chest. They were wearing protective masks and clothing. The workers were
rushed to safety showers and then treated with a solution to soothe the
May 19, 2005
Umdloti, South Africa
officers were watching for overloaded vehicles when a tanker conveying
sulphuric acid from Umbogintwini to Mandeni passed them. The officers were
sprayed by sulphuric acid as the tanker passed them. The fire department
was contacted and the tanker was stopped at the Tongaat Toll Plaza and taken
to the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) office to assess the leak. It was
found that a faulty valve was responsible. The tanker would only be
released after the valve was replaced.
March 25, 2005
called Thursday to the scene of the second railroad tanker-related chemical
leak in Huntington within five months.
A spokesperson for BPS Printing
Systems, formerly BASF, said a sulfuric acid leak was reported at the 5th
Avenue manufacturing plant at about 10 a.m. Thursday. About
50,000 pounds of 98 percent sulfuric acid, leaked from a rail tanker. The
leak was spotted by an employee watching the rail cars that carry raw
materials to the plant. He said the leak was caused by a malfunctioning
hose that ruptured on the top of the rail car. The hose was carrying the
acid from the rail car to the plant. The site’s emergency
response team immediately began cleaning up the leak. No one was hurt or
needed medical treatment because of the leak.
March 17, 2005
||Plant City, Florida, USA
carrying hazardous chemicals derailed in downtown Plant City. Five derailed
cars carried sulfuric acid, three phosphate and one with fluorosilicic. The
derailed cars remained upright, there were no injuries and no hazardous
materials spilled. The train had 38 loaded cars and 68 empty cars. CSX
officials said they did not know whether the derailed cars were empty or
loaded. The train was heading north from Mulberry to Wildwood when the
railroad cars slipped off the tracks about 9:45 p.m., shortly after rounding
|March 6, 2005
||Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
A railway tanker ruptured and spilled its toxic contents in a rail yard in
South Salt Lake. The tank car was carrying nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid,
sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, ammonia and acetic acid in a water
solution, according to the Utah Department of Health. Lab tests also
indicate phosphoric acid may have been present. The tank car was not
designed to carry this mixture of acid. A federal investigation is
under way. And the companies involved are scrambling to explain what
happened. About 6,000 residents were sent packing and traffic was
halted on the state's busiest highway. The car's manifest, which is
supposed to travel with the tanker and detail its contents, did not account
for every chemical inside.
The tanker's owner, Kennecott Utah Copper Corp., contends the car should
only have been holding one chemical: sulfuric acid.
Officials from the company believed to have filled the tanker, Houston-based
Philip Services Corp., claim the rail car was properly loaded and labeled
for shipment when it left their command in Fernley, Nev., near Reno. And the
company says the car's manifest - which was signed by a representative of
Union Pacific - notes the tanker was being used to transport sulfuric and
Philip Services officials call the 12,500-gallon concoction a
"waste corrosive liquid" - a mix of acids and water - and say the mixture's
contents comply with the terms of their contract to use the Kennecott
A Kennecott spokesman pointed out that the tanker is clearly labeled for
sulfuric acid use only.
On March 2, the tank car was sitting in South Salt Lake's Roper Train Yard,
according to Union Pacific. Early Sunday morning, yard workers noticed
acid bubbling from three holes in the tanker. It wasn't until late Sunday,
however, that emergency officials felt they had a grasp on what was in the
tanker and what should be done.
February 4, 2005
About 11,000 tons of sulfuric acid leaked from the Kemira Kemi factory in
central Helsingborg, forming a poisonous gas cloud over the city of
Helsingborg that forced citizens to stay indoors for four hours.
Thirteen people were injured, but none seriously. No fatalities were
reported. The acid leaked out shortly after 4 a.m. (0830 IST).
Carina Mohlin, director of the Helsingborg Lasarett hospital, said six
factory employees were taken to the hospital, some with teary eyes and
respiratory problems, but none with serious injuries. Two police
officers and five others were also taken in with similar symptoms, but all
13 had been cleared from the hospital by 11 a.m., she said.
The acid had leaked during the loading of a ship. A portion of the
acid spilled into the sea causing a chemical reaction that formed a steam
cloud containing droplets of sulphuric acid.
|January 30, 2005
||Kenwood, Ontario, Canada
through the night to clear the CN tracks after 17 cars derailed and one
leaked sulphuric acid into a treed area near Kerwood -- the fourth train
derailment since 1991 on the same stretch. No one was hurt or evacuated in
the derailment. Fifteen cars were on
their sides and two others that had slipped off the tracks.
And one of two derailed cars carrying sulphuric acid was leaking.
The derailed cars were from the middle of the 125-car train, which was
headed west from Toronto to Sarnia.
January 29, 2005
Stolt Fulmar (4,300 dwt, built 2000) carrying 5000 t of sulphuric acid
collided with bridge and tug on River Elbe in fog. No significant damage to
January 26, 2005
Freight train derailed in Southeast Zimbabwe spilling 40,000 litres of
sulphuric acid from one tank car into a stream feeding the Mtshabezi River
January 3, 2005
Pretoria, South Africa
overturned on N1, spilling 15,000 litres of sulphuric acid
July 25, 2004
Dujiang City, Jiangsu, China
||At 8am on 25
July 2004, a connecting pipe to a tank ruptured and resulted in a 60-ton
leakage of sulphuric acid in Dujiang City, Jiangsu. The toxic acid
transformed into gas and formed a cloud causing officials evacuate nearly
400 households in the immediate vicinity. Police allowed residents to return
15 hours later after the accident.
July 1, 2004
A tanker carrying sulphuric acid capsized late on Monday following a
collision with a container ship, causing a major pollution concern.
Much of the highly toxic sulphuric acid on board a tanker which capsized in
the German port of Hamburg has escaped into the river Elbe around the
Out of 960 tons of sulphuric acid originally on board the vessel ENA 2, only
about 430 tons is still in its cargo tanks, said Werner Marnette, CEO of
vessel owner Norddeutsche Affinerie, Europe's largest copper producer.
"We believe today that when the ship capsized, the sulphuric acid escaped
through its eight ventilation chambers into the Elbe," Marnette said.
Remaining acid in the ship was considerably diluted by river water three
days after the original accident, he said. Police incident
commander Peer Rechenbach said it was a "regrettable mistake" that
authorities had until now believed that most of the vessel's cargo was still
on board. Hamburg's city environment agency it did not believe the
river Elbe had suffered major environmental damage. But shortly after the
accident local television stations showed large numbers of dead fish
floating in the water. Salvage teams with floating cranes were on
Thursday afternoon still continuing the operation to turn the ship upright
so that the remaining acid can be pumped out. The port continues normal
June 26, 2004
Fayette, Mississippi, USA
||A tanker truck
overturned on Mississippi Highway 61 spilling approximately 1,500 gallons of
sulfuric acid into a Jefferson County creek. The Mississippi Department of
Environmental Quality and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department were on
the scene and there were no reported evacuations. The spill was at North
Fork Cove Creek about six miles north of Fayette. The creek leads to Cove
Creek which runs into the Mississippi.
June 16, 2004
Ottumwa, Iowa, USA
accident spilled 2,500 gallons of sulfuric acid into Sugar Creek just west
of Ottumwa, killing all the fish in the creek between the site and the Des
Moines River almost 1 mile away. The tanker contained 5,000 gallons of 95
percent sulfuric acid. The accident, which injured the driver, occurred on
U.S. Highway 34. The creek was extremely acidic and officials sprayed lime
into the creek in attempts to neutralize the acid.
||March 5, 2004
||Guelph, Ontario, Canada
A chemical spill in Guelph Friday injured one person and forced the
evacuation of businesses, homes and a school. The spill of
sulphuric acid and ferric chloride, which combine to create toxic
hydrochloric acid, happened around 8 a.m. at the Gay-Lea Foods facility in
the north end of the city. Police evacuated a five-block area
surrounding the plant as a precaution. The evacuation order was
lifted around 10 a.m., but people have since been told to stay indoors and
keep their windows, doors and ventilation systems shut until further notice.
The spill reportedly occurred while an acid tanker truck was unloading
materials at the plant.
February 4, 2004
Camp Pendleton, CA
Authorities shut down the Basilone Road offramps on Interstate 5 on
Wednesday morning when a truck carrying sulfuric acid leaked the corrosive
liquid. The truck's tank was too full as the big rig was traveling
south on the freeway, said Inspector Scott Simpson of the Camp Pendleton
Fire Department. He said some of the oily, colorless liquid started to seep
out. The driver pulled off at the Basilone Road exit just before 9
a.m. to get help at the gate to the Marine base, officials said. A San Diego
County hazardous-materials team was called.
About 10 to 15 gallons of
the liquid spilled, but no one was hurt, said a California Highway Patrol
officer.The Basilone Road offramps on both sides of the freeway were shut
down to keep drivers away from the spill. A traffic alert was issued for the
area. The spill was cleaned up about 2 p.m., officers said.
||November 25, 2003
||Olympic Dam, Australia
WMC ordered an external review of the accident-prone Olympic Dam after a
leak at its sulphuric acid plant put an end to copper production for up to
three weeks at a cost of $1.5 million a day. The acid plant
shutdown will lose WMC 600 tonnes of copper and 12 tonnes of uranium oxide a
day in production, and is expected to trim pre-tax earnings by as much as
$31.5 million. WMC was shooting for up to 180,000
tonnes of copper production in 2003, but the replacement heat exchanger will
take between two and three weeks to install at a cost "in the order of $3
million". As a result, the new output could be as much 12,600 tonnes lower.
November 3, 2003
Texas City, Texas, USA
A barge operated by Martin Product Sales LLC containing 235,000 gallons of
sulphuric acid capsized at Sterling Chemical’s No. 2 dock.
When the barge flipped some of the contents spilled.
The area was evacuated because emergency crews deemed there was a risk of an
lack of equipment and equipment to safely move or contain the acid prompted
the decision to drain the contents of the barge into the water way.
During the draining operation water entered and mixed with the acid in the
barge causing a cloud of steam to form.
As well, a budge formed in the barge hull from the apparent build-up of
hydrogen gas in the hull. Holes
were drilled in the hole to allow any hydrogen gas to escape.
Water sprays were used to prevent any gases from escaping.
Draining of the barge was completed on November 13, 2003.
barge is equipped with several compartments and if a compartment leaks or is
breached, the cargo can shift causing the barge to flip.
barge was towed to Newpark Shipping in the Houston Ship Channel where it
will be examined and repaired. The Coast Guard is
investigating the cause of the accident.
September 10, 2003
||Three men have
been sprayed with sulphuric acid in a chemical spill north of Adelaide.
Police said the men were removing the acid from trucks at Lochiel this
morning when a hose broke. One man suffered burns to his face, chest and
hands and was taken to the nearby Balaklava Hospital for treatment. He was
expected to be transferred to the Royal Adelaide Hospital later today. The
other men suffered burns to the hands and face but were treated at the
scene. Workplace authorities were conducting an investigation of the
August 29, 2003
A truck transporting sulfuric acid lost control on a mountain road in
central Mexico on Friday, killing seven people, state authorities said. The
truck collided with a sport utility vehicle traveling in the opposite
direction on a two-lane highway near San Juan de Las Huertas, about 15 miles
outside the Mexico state capital of Toluca. Seven out of nine people
traveling in the sport utility vehicle were killed, including a
nine-year-old and three teenagers. The truck also struck a house, where two
people were injured. The impact of the truck striking the oncoming vehicle
and house accounted for the deaths and most of the damages, according to
Arturo Vilchis, director of the Mexico state civil protection department.
Nevertheless, local firefighters and state emergency personnel
worked Friday night to dilute corrosive acid that spilled from the truck,
and about 70 people from 12 homes near the wreck were evacuated to a shelter
in San Juan de las Huertas.
It was unclear how much sulfuric acid the truck had been
carrying and whether it contributed to the injuries.
The Mexico state prosecutor's office had identified the
company that owned the truck and its driver Friday and were investigating
the cause of the wreck, including whether the truck's brakes were
July 18, 2003
Hazmat officials said there's minor concern about 2,000 gallons of sulfuric
acid that leaked into a tributary of Tinkers Creek.
The leak was from
a 6,000-gallon storage tank at Univar on East Highland Road. Employees
reported the leak when they noticed an odor around the tank.
service department crews used heavy machinery to build three dams on the
creek to contain the spill. The cleanup consisted of reducing the pH level
of the acid with soda ash and sodium bicarbonate. Then the contaminated
water was vacuumed up and fresh water was used to flush the area.
City officials said the public is not at a high risk since the area is
largely industrial and the main concerns are environmental.
May 21, 2003
Orillia, Ontario, Canada
National (CN) freight train derailment near Orillia, Ontario blocked off a
chunk of Highway 12 and forced Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to briefly
evacuate a small town called Gamebridge, located near the crash site, on
Highway 12 just north of Beaverton, Ont.
Twenty of the 40 cars in the train were carrying sulphuric acid. Although
acid is leaking from three of the cars, OPP Sergeant David Lee said that the
chemical is spilling into a farmer's field and is nowhere near a water
The evacuation order was cancelled after it was determined that there was
little danger to residents of the town and that the spill was nearly under
"Sulphuric acid is only dangerous if it comes in contact with your skin,"
Sgt. Lee told globeandmail.com. "But the town was evacuated because acid was
leaking into ditches by the roadside and causing a lot of smoke to billow
Crews are currently working to contain the spill by building dirt barriers,
and Highway 12 is still closed between Brechin and Beaverton.
May 05, 2003
Plant City, Florida, USA
Inc. experienced a sulfur trioxide gas release due to an interruption of
electric power at its Plant City Phosphate Complex, north of Plant City,
Florida, . The resulting cloud dissipated and there were no injuries to
employees and no reports of injuries or other known adverse impacts outside
the facility. CF cooperated with local officials to ensure the continued
safety of its employees and the nearby community. Also, the community alarm
system and telephone ring-down systems were activated as precautionary
measures. At the same time, appropriate state and local emergency response
officials were notified of the incident. It was also immediately reported to
federal and state authorities.
March 13, 2003
Yangtze River, China
||A cargo ship
carrying more than 200 tons of sulphuric acid has sunk in the Yangtze River
after a collision with another vessel. Two crew members are still missing.
Investigators said the accident was the result of darkness and the crew's
carelessness. Salvage and rescue workers who were rushed to the scene said
one of the sunken acid containers was slowly leaking into the river.
December 21, 2002
The 1974 built 5339 DWT Chemical tanker ‘Metin Ka’, believed to be laden
with 5,000 tonnes of Sulphuric Acid, ran aground at Yenikoy Point in the
Bosphorus Strait at about 1530 local time on 20th December 2002. The
Turkish-flagged tanker was on its way from Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara,
bound for Mersin.
Divers had been engaged to check the
ship’s hull and there have been no reports of acid leaking from the tanker
as yet. The Master reportedly tried to anchor but the vessel drifted because
of strong winds and ran aground about 10 metres off the shore of Istanbul's
Yenikoy residential area. Attempts are being made to refloat the vessel by
her own means.
December 4, 2002
Canadian Pacific Railways freight train carrying molten sulphur derailed in
southwestern Alberta causing a chemical fire and a brief evacuation of
nearby residents. 42 cars on the eastbound train left the tracks around
1:35 a.m. local time and sulphur began leaking from some of the cars that
ruptured. Fire crews from Medicine Hat and Seven Persons were at the scene
quickly but stayed back about 800 metres at first while they planned their
response. There was a risk of explosion and potential respiratory problems
from the sulphur, which becomes toxic sulfur dioxide when it burns.
Firefighters wearing breathing equipment put out the blue-burning fire at
about 7 a.m. but continued to douse the tanks until 10:30 a.m.
"The fire went out fairly easy, but keeping it out was the problem," said
Terry Bush, acting captain of the Medicine Hat Fire Department. "This stuff
is hauled at 150 degrees Celsius, so it literally flashes again. So that's
what we're doing with all this water, trying to cool it down."
Sulphur is classified as a dangerous good. Barry Heath, a remedial measures
specialist with Transport Canada who was supervising the containment of the
sulfur and the tanker cars, said the major concern with sulphur is when it
burns. Once the fire is extinguished, the sulphur solidifies and poses
little danger to people or the environment, he said.
With the temperature at —14 C range and firefighters pouring massive amounts
of water onto the spill, much of the sulphur had solidified and lay in the
ditch beside the twisted wreckage of black tanker cars.
The train, which wasn't carrying any other chemicals, had an engineer and
conductor as crew. Neither was injured, Ms. Park said.
The derailment happened in a sparsely populated farming area about 250
kilometres southeast of Calgary.
November 30, 2002
A massive chemical spill sparked a huge clean-up operation in Bristol.
Emergency services were called in when concentrated sulphuric acid leaked
out into the road at a tanker washing station. But when water
was added to the acid to try and wash it away, a chemical reaction created a
cloud of gas. Military fire crews spent more than six-and-a-half hours
clearing up the spillage in the Avonmouth area of the city on Friday
The alarm was raised at 1516 GMT on
Friday when Green Goddesses were called to deal with a spill of sulphuric
acid at the Pickfords Vanguard site. It is believed water was
added to what was thought to be 2,000 litres of diluted acid. But the
acid was actually 98% concentrate, and the water caused a chemical reaction,
releasing a huge plume of gas.
A police spokesman said: "Military crews
were called to a tanker washing facility in Avonmouth where sulphuric acid
had leaked into the road. "Chemical fumes were being discharged
from an underground storage tank."
He added: "A Red Goddess fire engine and
a breathing apparatus response team (BART) were sent to the scene from the
temporary fire station at Flying Fox in Bristol. Local water
company Wessex Water said there was no danger of the acid getting into the
water supply. Gillian Winstone, spokesperson for Wessex Water, said:
"There is no concern at the moment. "Wessex Water is monitoring the
pumping station, in case any of it goes into the sewers.
"There is no danger of it getting into the water supply as this is totally
November 9, 2002
Gulfport, Mississippi, USA
A sulfuric acid spill at U.S. 49 and Airport Road sent a Gulfport motorcycle
patrol officer to the hospital and shut down northbound travel for two
An estimated 15 to 20
gallons of the hazardous chemical spilled onto the highway at the traffic
light after a trailer hauling cleaning supplies broke loose from the
driver's van, officials said. Police charged the driver with running a red
light and spilling his load.
Sulfuric acid is a
corrosive acid that can cause severe respiratory problems and can become
volatile when mixed with water, said Gulfport Fire Chief Pat Sullivan. The
motorcycle officer, who witnessed the accident and began redirecting traffic
until help arrived, was treated for respiratory problems. No one else was
||October 14, 2002
A man suffered horrific injuries when he plunged into
an acid bath at a Birmingham metal processing factory.
The 29-year-old worker managed to drag himself out of the 6ft deep vat of
sulphuric acid but had already been severely burned by the deadly chemical.
He was taken to City Hospital following the accident at 5.25am at Birfield
Extrusions in Austin Way, Handsworth Wood, but later transferred to the
burns unit at Selly Oak. Sub fire
officer John Surrof said: "He did well to get himself out of the vat
considering the temperature of the acid was 70 degrees centigrade.
"Someone had got his boiler suit off and put him under the works
shower when we arrived but the skin was already coming off, especially from
his left leg and upper torso.
Freeport, Texas, USA
A railcar containing cyclohexanone oxime exploded at BASF’s Freeport, Texas
site rattling windows miles away and causing an evacuation of the
facility.BASF is still investigating the cause of its explosion and any
required corrective action. Besides the railcar, the explosion damaged a
nearby storage tank, releasing an undetermined amount of oleum, a
concentrated sulfuric acid. The chemicals involved are used in the
production of nylon. Overall, four workers had minor injuries and three of
16 units at the site were shut down.
September 16, 2002
Knoxville, Tennesse, USA
Southern train carrying 10,600 gallons of the hazardous chemical derailed
in the Farragut community near Knoxville. The train was traveling from
Knoxville to Birmingham, Ala., when the accident occurred. Twenty-four cars
of the 141-car train left the track. No one was seriously injured, but at
least 3,000 people were evacuated. Residents living in 20 subdivisions
within about a mile of the derailment were asked to leave their homes. The
highly corrosive acid, used in manufacturing, was transported as a liquid,
but became a gas upon release. Twenty people and one emergency worker
complained of minor skin and lung irritation and were taken to a hospital,
where they were treated and released, said Lt. Jeff Devlin, a member of the
Knoxville Special Hazards Team. About half a dozen schools in the area were
cancelled Monday as a precaution. Gas continued to spew from the tanker
Sunday night. Emergency workers were using water, foam, and lime and soda to
neutralize the spill.
September 4, 2002
About 600 litres of sulfuric acid leaked on Sazecska ulice in Prague 10 -
Malesice at around 9:30 a.m. The acid leaked from a container on
a lorry. The Prague sewer system has been damaged by the recent flooding
and the Prague water treatment plant is not functioning, thus the acid would
go directly into the Vltava River. The acid leaked out of the container
over a 50 metre long area and damaged the underbelly of five passing cars. "Some
container or tank fell off a lorry, allegedly," Daniela Razimova from the
Prague police administration said as to the cause of the spill. It is not
clear, however, whether this was caused by an accident.
August 19, 2002
Henan Province, China
family have been killed after their vehicle collided with a tanker of
sulphuric acid. Li Yanbiao and his two sons were 'reduced to bone' within
minutes of the crash, the Straits Times reports. Police say the truck was
carrying ten tonnes of the chemical illegally in Henan province, central
China. Mr Li's nephew was rescued by the police but died hours later from
severe burns. His wife suffered 70% burns while their five-year-old
daughter may lose her legs. Police are looking for the truck driver who ran
away after the crash.
August 2, 2002
Fort Worth, Texas
Investigators say a break in a section of railway could be to blame for a
potentially dangerous derailment in Fort Worth. Two cars
overturned late Thursday night in the 100 block of Northside Drive, between
North Main Street and Interstate 35-W. What made the situation
dangerous was the cargo. The cars were carrying about 26,000 gallons of
Fire officials said the cars are not leaking and they did not have to
evacuate anyone from the area. Crews expect to have the
overturned cars upright within the next few hours. No one was
injured. Both the railway cars and the track belong to Fort
Worth Western Railroad.
July 20, 2002
||A leak of
sulphuric acid from a BASF chemicals plant in western Germany left around 10
people complaining of respiratory problems late on Friday, police and
firefighters said. The accident occurred when around five kilograms (12
pounds) of an acid known as oleum escaped from a leaking pipe. Oleum is
used in the making of dyes and detergents. After the hour-long spill,
police told local residents around the site to close doors and windows.
July 17, 2002
Cape Town, South Africa
Alliance has called on the Department of Environmental Affairs to conduct an
independent investigation into an accident at a Richard's Bay industrial
plant that resulted in almost 200 people being gassed. The accident took
place in the KwaZulu-Natal town on Monday afternoon, after a start-up
procedure at a Foskor-owned sulphuric acid plant went wrong, sending a toxic
cloud of sulphurous gas billowing across a busy public road.
Reports from the province shortly after the incident described the casualty
departments of the town's hospitals as "war zones", with medical staff
battling to cope with dozens of nauseous victims, many of whom had
In a statement on Tuesday, Foskor expressed regret over what it termed "an
unfortunate incident". It said this "was triggered when the new sulphuric
acid plant... had to be restarted... after a brief shutdown earlier in the
day". "During the start-up, the stack emission unexpectedly descended to the
ground, where it affected a number of people outside the plant."
The department on Tuesday issued a statement saying it had called on Foskor
for "a report detailing the reasons behind a sulphuric acid leak". It is
understood this report will be compiled by Foskor management, and not by
independent inspectors. It is also not clear whether it will be followed by
an inquiry into the accident.
Ambler-Moore said it was "frightening that... people have become victims of
short-sighted planning on the part of Foskor, but even more disturbing is
the fact that this scenario had already been identified as a possible
worst-case scenario". The accident "was clearly a possibility Foskor was
aware of, and had to take into account in their decision to go ahead with
September 10, 2001
||A total of 158
tons of sulphuric acid poured into the Yangtze River, causing widespread
pollution in the river's Wuxue Section of Central China's Hubei Province on
Sep.6, according to a report from sina.com. The accident
occurred when a vessel owned by a company from East China's Anhui Province
sank. The vessel was carrying industrial sulphuric accident. The local
environmental protection department is keeping a close eye on water quality
and urged relevant departments and personnel to pay special attention.
August 13, 2001
Christchurch, New Zealand
Two Christchurch companies were yesterday fined $20,000 after a factory
worker was severely burnt when he slipped while pouring concentrated
sulphuric acid into a vat. The worker, Wayne Poskitt, suffered serious
chemical burns to his face, arms, and legs. The Department of Labour
immediately forced the factory, Jenkins Biolabs, to stop its method of
having a staff member fill a bucket with acid and then climb on a chair to
pour it into the vat. "The process adopted can only be described
as a Heath Robinson one," said Judge Michael Green at a sentencing in the
Christchurch District Court yesterday. "A layman could have seen the
potential problems with that."
Judge Green said: "Employers are not
expected to be perfect. They are not expected to foresee everything that
ultimately happens, but they are expected to look at their work practices
intelligently and decide whether they amount to potential hazards. They are
also required to see that their employees carry out the appropriate safety
Jenkins Biolabs, which manufactures
agricultural products, was charged with failing to ensure that its employee
was not exposed to a workplace hazard, resulting in serious harm.
Soiltech Limited, which develops
processes and products for Jenkins Biolabs, had set up the production system
involving moving and pouring the concentrated acid from an open bucket. It
was charged because one of its employees - the scientist who developed the
process - had been carrying out the same procedures, though he was not
involved in an accident. The Christchurch service manager for
Occupational Safety and Health, Margaret Radford, said yesterday the victim
had suffered serious burns which continued to affect his daily life.
Placer Dome, Porgera Mine, Papua New Guinea
||In June 2001,
there was a sulphuric acid leak from a chemical convoy container at Watarais
(160 km west of Lae) en route to Porgera.
||May 31, 2001
Hundreds of fish have been killed after a Scottish stream was polluted with
sulphuric acid. Brown trout have been seen trying to leap out of the
water after a factory pipe burst and flooded the River Almond in Newbridge
with bright orange preservative.
Huge amounts of ferric sulphate were
spilt from Grampian Country Foods, a chicken factory. Residents
watched dozens of fish at a time spring from the water to escape the
chemical, which changes to sulphuric acid on contact with water.
Ferric sulphate turns to a dilute sulphuric acid when it is mixed with water
and the burning sensation would have been driving the fish out.
May 27, 2001
Zhanjiang, Guangdong, China
spill at a mothballed dye plant in China's southern province of Guangdong
sent a toxic cloud into the air, injuring 90 people who inhaled the fumes,
state media said May 27. The chemical spill occurred at the Crown Chemical
Works Co, a plant three miles from the city center, which was shut down in
1997. A two-ton tank holding nearly pure sulphuric acid ruptured around
midday Saturday, mixing with rain and producing a poisonous white cloud over
Zhanjiang city. No one had died, but some remained in the hospital with
serious injuries after inhaling the fumes, which affected people over an
area of around a square mile. The city government called in 30 members of a
naval chemical warfare unit to contain the spill after local fire and rescue
workers could not bring it under control. Soldiers brought the spill under
control by digging a hole to contain the chemical and neutralizing the acid
with caustic soda.
March 23, 2001
Newark, New Jersey, USA
1000 gallons of sulphuric acid was spilled at a chemical plant
March 5, 2001
Richmond, California, USA
produced a small cloud of sulphuric acid.
Bay of Biscay, Northern Spain
carrying sulphuric acid sank in the Bay of Biscay off the northern coast of
Spain yesterday but the risk of pollution seemed minimal, authorities said.
All 23 crew members were rescued when the Balu, a 24-year-old
Maltese-registered ship, sank en route from Frederiksen in Denmark to the
south of Spain. A statement by the Malta Maritime Authority said yesterday
that a casualty investigator from the Malta Maritime Authority will today
join the authority's appointed flag state inspectors in Portugal to
interview the 23 crew members including the captain and other senior
officers of the Maltese-registered ship. The vessel sank yesterday at
around 10am approximately 144 miles off La Coruna in Spain. Balu, said the
MMA statement, was carrying a cargo of 8,000 tons of sulphuric acid from the
port of Fredrikstad in Norway to the port of Huelva in Spain. The small
tanker of 5795 gross tons and 120 metres in length was sailing in gale force
10 sea conditions when it sank. All 23 crew members were saved following a
distress message issued by the ship. The crew are at present on board two
vessels and will be disembarking at the first port of call in Portugal. A
Maltese source disputed newswires reports that the seamen are from Malta.
AP reported that the police port authority in the western French town of
Brest said the boat was carrying about 8,000 tons of sulfuric acid. It sank
220 kilometers (136 miles) north of the Spanish coast and 350 kilometers
(217 miles) south of Penmarc'h peninsula in the Finistere region of France,
the authority said.
Lloyd's of London, the world's largest marine insurer, listed the freighter
as belonging to Dundee Shipping and Trading Ltd. According to a
spokesman for rescue services dispatched to the region, the risk of
pollution was minimal because sulfuric acid dilutes quickly on contact with
water. The spokesman, speaking on condition that his name not be used,
said there was a possibility that some slight residue might evaporate and be
blown north by the winds. The French Transportation Ministry said it
had ordered its Accident Inquiry Office to investigate why the freighter,
which it said could carry 6,000 tons of sulfuric acid, sank. The
accident briefly raised the specter of another environmental disaster in a
country still scarred by a massive oil spill in 1999, and a spate of other
scares in its waters. An aging oil tanker, also Maltese-registered,
broke in two off the coast of Brittany in December 1999, spilling millions
of liters (gallons) of foul-smelling oil into the Atlantic and onto beaches
and the rocky coast. Last October, another tanker, the "Ievoli Sun,"
sank in the English Channel with toxic chemicals aboard but little leakage
was reported. The "Balu" crew members were winched off the sinking
boat by a Spanish rescue helicopter and transferred to two vessels nearby.
Winds of around 60 kph (37 mph) were blowing in the region on Tuesday
morning, and there was a swell of up to five meters (16.5 feet). The
freighter sank in 4,600 meters (15,180 feet) of water, and no efforts could
be made to retrieve the cargo before it sank.
January 4, 2001
Sahuarita, Arizona, USA
A Union Pacific train derailed spilling about 10,000 USG of sulphuric acid
forcing about 96 residents to evacuate overnight. The 107 car train
was north bound from Nogales to Tucson when 19 cars derailed about 20 miles
south of Tucson. Two of the cars spilled their cargo of acid.
Two crew members were not injured but one firefighter was treated for
inhalation of acid fumes. The train was travelling about 41 mph.
A sulphur dioxide emission
during start-up of the Chemical Initiatives sulphuric acid plant at
Umbogintwini led to16 members of the public being hospitalised briefly.
Additional equipment has since been installed to avoid a recurrence
A bulk tank of sulphuric
acid failed during off-loading operations at Crest Chemicals.
Fumes from this incident drifted beyond the site’s boundaries but,
fortunately, no injuries occurred
September 11-18, 2000
||A leak from a
stationary tank at the Trpeca industrial facility in Mitrovica resulted in
the loss of 1,090 metric tons of sulphuric acid onto the ground and into a
nearby waterway. The product is highly corrosive with the potential for
significant environmental impacts. There is some concern that the spill
product could cross the Ibar River into the Republic of Serbia. The Joint
UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit sent out an initial alert to key European donors
identifying the required resources, following an official request for
assistance issued by UNMIK. So far, the Government of Germany has
dispatched a team of 5 experts and 5.4 metric tons of clean-up equipment
(pumps, hoses etc.) to the disaster site. Other donors are expected to come
forward with additional resources to assist in the clean-up efforts.
September 13, 2000
Zhanjiang City, Guangdong Province, China
Recently, lots of fish and shrimps died in Hedi Reservoir of Zhanjiang City,
Guangdong Province. Investigation shows that over 3 tons of sulfuric acid
was discharged into Jiuzhou River from a titanium powder factory in Guangxi
Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The local EPA urgently controlled the
pollution in the area. The water quality in Jiuzhou River returned to
normal, and stabilized.
July 6, 2000
Tooele, Utah, USA
were cleaning a line in the U.S. Army Chemical Weapons depot in Tooele,
Utah, sulfuric acid leaked, injuring six workers. No chemical weapons were
involved in the incident. The workers suffered from burns and inhalation of
fumes; all were treated onsite and two were also evaluated at the University
of Utah burn clinic.
June 15, 2000
Colton, California, USA
vehicles including 2 locomotives came off the track near Colton, California.
Six of the freight cars caught fire and one began to leak sulphuric acid.
There was concern that a gasoline pipeline that runs longside the track may
have been damaged. It is believed that the potential risk of a serious
incident was relatively minor and nearby residents were not evacuated nor
was a nearby freeway closed. There is no indication of a cause for the
derailment. Colton is 50 miles (80 km) east of Los Angeles.
March 14, 2000
Temagami, Ontario, Canada
||A 4:15 pm on
Tuesday, March 14th, a south bound freight train derailed at Mileage 63.5 of
the Temagami Subdivision (approximately 15 km south of Temagami).
Preliminary assessment at the scene indicated that 29 cars had been
derailed, 25 of which contained sulphuric acid. Immediate steps were taken to contain the spill by blocking off a
culvert to stem the flow of water from the area. Ontario Northland's Emergency Response team, accompanied by Ministry
of Environment, Transport Canada and Noranda Inc. Emergency Response staff,
were on site and conducted a detailed assessment of the situation. Once the
assessment was completed steps were taken to neutralized the acid. Downstream sampling indicated some impact to the inflow point of Hornet
Lake. Sampling at the discharge point of the lake showed no impact. Approximately 780 tonnes of acid was released.
December 10, 1999
Campbell Industrial Park, Hawaii, USA
Environmental Protection Agency has given Brewer Environmental Industries
until Jan. 6 to respond to a list of questions related to the Thanksgiving
Day spill of 35 tons of sulfuric acid at Brewer’s Campbell Industrial Park
facility. Brewer received an EPA letter requesting information on Monday
and has 30 days to respond. Once the information is received, federal
officials will determine whether any sanctions, including fines of up to
$25,000 per violation, will be levied against the company.
Michael Feeley, deputy director of the EPA’s Superfund Division, inspected
the plant yesterday and said the cleanup by state health officials and
Brewer Environmental Industries appears to be going well. But Feeley said
the EPA’s investigation has just begun and he would not comment on what
violations, if any, have been found. He did, however, describe the
incident as a “significant spill” that the EPA is taking “very seriously.”
“When we heard the initial numbers, we
viewed this as a significant release into the environment; not just a
release, but an air release too,” Feeley said. “Sometimes the air releases
are more risky and more hazardous.”
Feeley said the EPA’s request for
information focuses on four issues, including the time it took Brewer to
report the spill and whether there were previous releases and how they were
reported. The other questions involve Brewer’s handling of hazardous wastes
on the site.
On Thanksgiving Day, workers at
neighboring Chevron Refinery discovered that sulfuric acid was leaking into
a concrete sump and gravel trench along Brewer’s fence line. The acid mixed
with chlorine bleach in the sump and created toxic chlorine gas. The
cleanup is expected to be completed in about a week.
September 15, 1998
Sao Paulo, Brazil
After the week-long release of sulphuric acid into an estuary in southern
Brazil, a local judge has ordered an immediate stop to the dump operation
after protests by Greenpeace and local groups. The salvage team and other
agencies involved in the operation were given 24 hours to find transfer
tanks to receive the highly corrosive cargo and 48 hours to remove all 100
tons of fuel from the ship.
A Maltese flagged tanker, MV Bahamas, released more than 6,000 tons of
sulphuric acid into the Lagoa dos Patos estuary at the southern tip of Rio
Grande do Sul. Greenpeace and local NGOs testified to the prosecutors'
office on Friday and demanded the immediate halting of the dump into this
important estuary. The authorities monitoring the environmental impact of
the accident have published no information on the impacts of the release of
MV Bahamas ran
aground three weeks ago and started to leak sulphuric acid.
Environmentalists were able to stop about half of the original 12,000 tons
of acid cargo from escaping into the environment. Over 6,000 tons of acid
have been released already into the marine environment with the full support
of Brazilian Government officials.
November 3, 2010 - In 1998 a
ship called the Bahamas was hired to carry sulphuric acid for three
companies located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. On August 25 1998,
while berthed, the ship began to discharge the dangerous chemical. The
discharge to the first receiver had already been concluded when, on August
30, it was observed that the ship was no longer operating. Port authorities
went aboard and ascertained that a serious leak of sulphuric acid was
heading towards the Patos Lagoon, where the terminal was located.
State officials, including environmental agents of the federal and state
public prosecution offices, joined forces to stop the leak and ascertain who
should be held responsible. The first attempt to solve the problem involved
pumping a mixture of acid and salt water from the ship's hold into the sea,
with a constant monitoring of the seawater's pH level. This decision was
motivated by concern that the ship might explode, since when sulphuric acid
reacts with water, it releases oxygen, which would result in an increase in
the internal pressure of the tanks.
Ten days after the measure was implemented, a court order suspended the
dumping of the sulphuric acid. This decision was in response to an action
for an innominate provisional remedy filed the previous day by the federal
and state public prosecution offices. The lawsuit was based on an opinion
from a local university professor, who asserted that there were no further
risks of explosion and that the most appropriate course of action would be
the removal of the acid onboard and the dumping thereof in the high seas,
rather than the Patos Lagoon. Several questions had been raised concerning
the risks of dumping diluted acid into the lagoon. On analysing the matter,
the judge accepted the claim and ordered the removal of the cargo and its
dumping in the high seas. Despite the court order, the removal of the
acid did not take place. The parties responsible for the ship alleged
difficulties in finding a ship that would accept such a task. Not even the
imposition of a daily fine of R5 million, effective from September 23,
accelerated the process. In view of the ineptitude of the companies
involved, the federal and state public prosecution offices filed a lawsuit
requesting that the Yeros perform the operation. As a result, the companies
involved in the hiring of the Bahamas became jointly and severally liable
for the financial burdens resulting from the hiring of the Yeros. This
lawsuit was based on Article 5(XXV) of the federal Constitution, which
authorises the government to use private properties, ensuring any indemnity
to the owner in the event of any damages.
The Yeros performed several operations until all the acid had been removed
from the Bahamas and discharged 150 miles off the coast. These operations
took several months. The accident involving
the Bahamas resulted in several lawsuits. This update focuses on a special
appeal filed by a Dutch salvage company and a UK insurer - a protection and
indemnity club which sought to be excluded as a defendant from the lawsuit
that determined that the Yeros be engaged and the ensuing remuneration.
According to the insurer, it did not have standing to be sued in the
proceedings, insofar as it was the insurer of the Bahamas, since the
contract was executed under English law and thus it was not contractually
obliged to be held liable for the loss that occurred on the ship.
On the other hand, the salvage company asserted that it had been hired to
carry out the transshipment of the sulphuric acid from the Bahamas to the
Yeros, which it successfully performed according to its own case records.
Therefore, it did not believe that it should be adversely affected through
the loss of suit expenses, since its procedures in the operation had not
been challenged. For the Superior Federal Court, the lawfulness of the
companies being taken to court lay in the possibility of them, together with
the vessel's shipowner, complying with a requirement that was deemed
essential to prevent any aggravation of the situation. It was also observed
that Article 13 of Law 7542/1986 authorised the holding liable of the
insurer and the salvage company, such as was determined in a previous
decision of the Federal Court of Appeals of the Fourth Region.
This was one of the most serious accidents to take place in the state of Rio
Grande do Sul and several related lawsuits are underway in the Brazilian
courts as a consequence
|July 9, 1998
Six persons and more than 20 sheep were killed when a truck collided head on
with a tanker loaded with concentrated sulphuric acid early in the morning
in the Dadri area. The two vehicles overturned after the collision which
caused a traffic jam for two hours. A truck carrying sheep,
going to Ghaziabad from Etawah, collided head on with a tanker, loaded with
concentrated sulphuric acid, parked at the road side near village Dhoom
Manikpur around 3 am in Dadri area. The truck collided with the tanker
crushing two men repairing the tanker. Both the vehicles overturned after
the collision leaving four occupants of the truck dead. Only one person, who
was sleeping at the top of the truck, survived the accident.
Fumes of the acid spilt on the road led
to breathing trouble for bystanders. The matter was reported to the police
immediately but the fire brigade reached the spot only after one-and-a-half
hours after the incident and cleared the traffic jam.
February 11, 1998
A 26 cars of 52 car CP Rail train derailed at 1pm about 80 kilometres
northwest of Sudbury. Five of the 26 cars slid down the embankment
making contact with the Spanish River, and at least one leaked about 7
tonnes of sulphur into the water. While the sulphur was loaded into
the cars in liquid state, it had frozen by the time of the derailment, said
Thurston, and remained solidified along the shore and the bottom of the
The leaked sulphur has
congealed like a solid lava stream from one of the cars running down into
the river and, as long as it remains cold, it will stay that way and the
spillage shouldn't contaminate anything, he said.
Officials have tested
water quality both up and down river form the accident and have found no
signs of contamination.
January 22, 1998
Augusta, Georgia, USA
|75 lbs of
sulphur trioxide release due to problem with pump bearings
January 11, 1998
Augusta, Georgia, USA
|82 lbs of
sulphur trioxide released from a broken flex pipe
||November 19, 1997
Olympic Dam, WMC
Seventy workers at Olympic Dam have walked off the job after the second
"life threatening" leak of dangerous sulphuric acid in two weeks, union
The workers walked off the job from the smelter area at Olympic Dam
yesterday morning after several were overcome by fumes. A union official
said 23 workers had been "gassed" by the emissions and one had collapsed
from the fumes. A spokeswoman for the Department of Mines and Energy
confirmed they had been notified of a sulphuric acid leak by Olympic Dam
operators Western Mining Corp. It follows an incident at Roxby Downs
two weeks ago when 10 workers were taken to the plant's medical centre after
being overcome by sulphur dioxide fumes. A safety audit undertaken by
a union occupational hygienist yesterday afternoon recommended the workers
not return to the site until "structural damage" to the pipe had been fixed.
Union and management will meet this morning to determine when the workers
A 22,400 GT bulk carrier carrying a mixed cargo of 33,000 tonnes of grain
and animal feeds was under port pilotage to her discharging berth with one
tug made fast aft and two others in attendance. The weather conditions were
good and, as the bulk carrier had a bow thruster and good manoeuvrability,
the Master and Pilot had agreed that it was not necessary to make a tug fast
forward to assist with a planned turn to starboard. The size of the bulk
carrier and the usual preferred turn position meant that her bow would swing
close to a chemical tanker which was moored at a berth adjacent to the
turning basin. Partly because the forward tug had not been connected the
Pilot chose to keep power and headway on to help with the turn. The vessel
was turning to starboard and still making headway when the bulbous bow came
into contact with the side of the chemical tanker, which was discharging a
cargo of 4291 tonnes of sulphuric acid. Although the chemical tanker
was holed below the waterline which caused her to list rapidly to about 35º
there were no injuries and there was no pollution as a result of the
December 15, 1996
Despite official assurances that 13,000 liters of sulfuric acid and copper
accidentally spilled into Loa River Dec. 15 by the El Abra copper mine have
had no impact on plant or animal health, communities located closest to the
accident report unexplained livestock death in the days immediately
following the accident, and express disillusionment with the government's
handling of the incident.
Irrigation Authority (RIA) reported Friday that water acidity in the area
has increased significantly, prompting Mining Minister Benjamin Teplizky to
order El Abra to contract services with the Mining and Mineralogical
Investigation Center (CIMM) for the next two months to monitor the area's
El Abra company
officials say they had solicited the same precautionary studies days
earlier, without a positive government response.
any adverse health or environmental effect, Minister Teplizky expressed
serious concern about El Abra's failure to promptly report the accident,
thus putting the area population at greater risk.
Tomislav Ostoic publicly denounced El Abra's handling of the incident last
Thursday, saying the accident was not reported to regional health officials
until Dec. 18, three days after its occurrence, and inspection officials
were not allowed on company property to review the accident site until 11
days after the event.
The impact of the
original spill of sulfuric acid on Dec. 15 was apparently made worse when
company employees that same morning "washed" the spill from company grounds,
says a report by the RIA. The estimated 150,000 additional
liters of water added to the spill in the "washing" process assured that the
sulfuric acid mix was able to make its way to the Loa River, where it then
flowed to the Conchi reservoir, which holds 2.7 million liters of water.
Alberto Acuna, a
member of the government's regional environmental committee, said he
believes the El Abra sulfuric acid spill violates Article 64 of the new
Environmental Base Law and could subject the company to a fine of 500
Unidades Tributarias each month (US$27,600). Legal action is
doubtful, though, says Acuna, because the regulations relating to the new
law have yet to be promulgated.
August 10, 1996
Kerwood, Ontario, Canada
a total of 37 railcars derailed. Two of the railcars were tank cars
containing sulphuric acid. One tank released about 4950 kg of acid. The
area was evacuated as a result of the derailment. Emergency response crews
were able to transfer the contents of the tank car, clean up the spil,
remove the contaminated soil and remove the tank cars.
February 22, 1996
Leadville, Colorado, USA
A runaway train derailed in the pre-dawn hours in Leadville, CO, killing two
railroad employees and injuring a third. The February accident sent a
"river" of sulfuric acid down a snowy mountainside and across a highway,
contaminating rescue workers and early morning commuters alike.
The 82-car train was
traveling at about 65 mph in a 15 mph zone, according to a spokesman for the
National Transpor-tation Safety Board. Two locomotives and 41 cars of the
Southern Pacific freight train derailed in the wreck, which occurred at 5:30
a.m. along U.S. 24 north of the town. Two tank cars containing 54,000
gallons of sulfuric acid ruptured in the incident. Two other tank cars
containing the acid derailed but did not rupture.
witnesses, sulfuric acid flowed downhill in "three or four streams,"
flooding across the highway and forming pools in a parking lot on the other
side of the road. Fortunately the acid did not reach the nearby Eagle River,
which is the municipal water supply for several communities.
Dozens of drivers and
rescue workers sought treatment at nearby medical facilities for exposure to
fumes, with symptoms ranging from burning eyes to shortness of breath and
nausea. Sulfuric acid is a corrosive that is highly poisonous by inhalation
and causes severe burns in contact with skin tissue. Vapors are irritating
to the eyes and throat.
Although the cold
temperatures, snow and ice may have helped to contain the spill, the winter
weather hampered clean-up efforts. Southern Pacific's hazardous materials
team was unable to land at nearby Eagle airport because of heavy snow and
had to drive from Grand Junction, 150 miles away. Hazmat teams also
responded from the Colorado State Patrol and the Vail Fire Department.
Two million pounds of
soda ash and lime, needed to neutralize the acid, was brought in by truck
and rail. Hulcher Professional Services of Rapid City, SD brought in heavy
equipment to clear wreckage from the tracks. The acid-tainted snow was
collected and removed from the mountain. The highway remained closed for
four days so that new tanker cars could be brought in to unload the two
derailed tankers, which remained perched precariously above the highway.
The train was travelling from East St. Louis, IL to
Roseville, CA. According to reports, this incident was "eerily" similar to a
1989 accident in which a 58-car runaway freight train derailed and spilled
concentrated sulfuric acid down a steep embankment and onto a highway only
one-half mile from the site of the Leadville wreck.
BHP San Manuel
|At BHP's San
Manuel mining operations in Arizona, 27 spills of sulfuric acid, arsenic,
copper and mining wastes were recorded from April 1996 to November 2000.
Twenty-three of these spills were of sulfuric acid and total more than
August 20, 1995
1995, the DuPont facility released more than 23,800 gallons of a sulfuric
acid solution into the air over a four-hour period, creating a chemical
cloud. Local authorities evacuated more than 1,000 residents from their
homes, and several people underwent treatment for burns to their eyes, nasal
passages and lungs. DuPont was unable to stop the release, or to minimize it
in any way.
Justice Department, on behalf of the EPA, sued DuPont in September 1997,
alleging that DuPont failed to maintain a safe facility as required by the
Clean Air Act. The charge arose from DuPont's use of cast iron piping in a
tank used to store oleum (sulfuric trioxide dissolved in sulfuric acid) and
the company's failure to inspect that piping. The oleum solution corroded
the cast iron piping, which ultimately fractured on the night of August 20,
1995, leading to the release of sulfuric acid into the air.
DuPont's own written standard for tanks
and piping used for oleum storage, as well as chemical industry standards,
indicate that cast iron is an inappropriate material for use in tanks that
store oleum. Cast iron is susceptible to corrosion and abrupt cracking when
in contact oleum.
The Justice Department and the EPA have
reached a $1.5 million settlement with E.I. du Pont de Nemours related to
the 1995 chemical release in eastern Kentucky that led to the evacuation of
several communities surrounding the plant.
The Delaware-based DuPont will pay an
$850,000 penalty and spend about $650,000 to create a state-of-the-art
emergency notification system for a 10-county region of Kentucky. The
agreement filed today in U.S. District Court in Lexington settles federal
claims that DuPont violated federal environmental laws at its Wurtland, Ky.,
"This enforcement action reflects the
EPA's commitment to ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Clean
Air Act to protect human health and the environment from excessive air
pollution," said John H. Hankinson, Jr., Regional Administrator for EPA's
Region 4 in Atlanta. "We will continue to vigorously use enforcement along
with other cooperative approaches that benefit the environment."
The government also asserted that DuPont
violated provisions of two federal laws that require a company to
immediately notify emergency response officials as soon as the company
learns about a release of a hazardous substance exceeding a specified
July 26, 1993
Richmond, California, USA
|15 mile cloud
of fuming sulfuric acid (oleum) sent 20,000 people to the hospital with
burning in the respiratory system and skin rashes.
||An oleum spill at
General Chemical cause a plume which resulted in thousands seeking medical
treatment. General Chemical paid $1.18 millon in damages. This incident
helpd spur the EPA to include oleum in the final list pf chemicals subject
to accidental release prevention requirements.
|March 25, 1992
||Kettle Falls, Washington, USA
A railroad tank car carrying 13,000 gallons of sulfuric
acid. The tank car cracked at the bottom center of the tank along a
circumferential weld, resulting in the release of all the sulfuric acid.
There was metallurgical evidence of a pre-existing crack in the area of the
failure. The tank car had just passed visual inspections and a hydrostatic
test the previous month, and it was carrying its first load of cargo since
the inspection and test. The tank car failed as the train began to move
November 22, 1988
Herculaneum, Missouri, USA
||A barge loaded
with 1400 tonnes of 93% acid sank in the Mississippi river. The barge land
in 3 m of water and there was no sign of leakage. Three options were
discussed to deal with the accident.
1. Transfer the acid out of the barge
2. Re-float the barge with the cargo aboard
3. Discharge the acid into the river
Transferring the acid posed too great a risk to personnel and
re-floating the barge ran the risk of the barge breaking apart if it was not
lifted properly. The third option was selected as the course of action. pH
monitoring downstream of the barge was considered adequate protection
against environmental damage. Acid was removed by using an air-lift tube.
Compressed air was allowed to bubble upwards through the acid inside the
tube drawing the acid from the tank. Flow was controlled by the amount of
air used. The entire operation took several months.
Wilmington, North Carolina, USA
10,331 dwt chemical tanker PANAM PERLA was found to be leaking sulfuric acid
from a cargo tank into the double bottom. An after hours telephone call led
to a late night mobilization of a salvage/hazmat team, chemical pumping
equipment and confined space entry equipment to Wilmington, North Carolina.
Under the close observation of the US Coast Guard, the team transferred the
acid (approx. 300 tons) into rail cars and then neutralized the remains
aboard before flushing with water to enable entry and inspection by class
||A cloud of
sulfuric acid gas erupted from a phosphates plant and hovered for two hours
near the facility before dissipating. Neighbors were warned to evacuate if
the cloud approached their homes but an evacuation never became necessary,
said Bill Wonnacott, fire chief of Sweetwater County Fire District No. 1.
The cloud moved away from the plant and hovered southwest of the facility,
he said. ``The winds were calm and we weren't sure what direction the cloud
was going to move,'' Wonnacott said. The gas escaped following a 10:15 a.m.
malfunction at SF Phosphates' sulfuric acid plant Wednesday, the company
said in a press statement. ``The release continued for approximately 15 to
20 minutes until the unit was shut down as a corrective action,'' the
release said. No one was injured, the company said. Wonnacott said he did
not know how toxic the gas cloud was and that his department will request
information about the product. The gas is known as oleum, which is made up
mostly of sulfuric acid. ``This was a fairly large release, in my
opinion,'' he said. SF Phosphates is southeast of Rock Springs.
New York State, USA
transporting sulfuric acid leaked several gallons due to a faulty seal. The
spill, near a toll barrier, caused a three mile stretch of highway to be
closed for about four hours. Ten toll collectors reported respiratory
irritation and were taken to a hospital for observation.