Knowledge for the Sulphuric Acid Industry
Sulphuric Acid on the Web
Acid Plant Database
Boiler Feed Water
Materials of Construction
DKL Engineering, Inc.
Sulphuric Acid Plant Safety -
No matter how well a plant is designed and operated, there is the potential for accidents to happen. Accidents can be as minor as small spills or releases to major incidents that require evacuation, personal injury or death.
Plans must be in place for all possible situations and personnel should be trained so they now how to react to minimize the impact of an accident. The following are accidents, both minor and major that have involved sulphuric acid plants or sulphuric acid.
Transportation - River, Ocean, Road, Rail, Marine
Environmental - Release
|Transportation - Marine||August 19, 2016||Melbourne, Australia||
A tanker carrying chemicals has run aground in waters off the Mornington Peninsula, south-east of Melbourne. The ship, the Hope Singapore, is believed to have hit a sandbar off the coast of Rosebud after its engine failed. Port of Melbourne Corporation chief executive Nick Easy said authorities believed the ship would float clear of the sandbar at high tide. Mr Easy said the ship did not pose an environmental risk. "It has sulphuric acid on board but there's no pollution or damage that's led to any environmental incidents and there's no navigational safety risks as a result of this at this stage," he said. The 115-metre-long small liquid bulk carrier was en route to Geelong when it ran aground early on Friday evening. Mr Easy said early attempts to move the vessel out of the sand using a tug boat were unsuccessful. No details of how many crew members were on board were available. The Harbour Master, Water Police and other agencies were expected to investigate the incident.
|Spill||August 19, 2016||Hanceville, Alabama||The Alabama Department of Environmental Management says it is investigating a release of about 900 gallons of sulfuric acid that occurred at the American Proteins Facility in Hanceville.ADEM spokesman Jerome Hand said Thursday that the sulfuric acid reached the Mulberry Fork, resulting in fish being killed. ADEM is investigating the cause of the release and monitoring the situation.Hand says the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has been contacted to assess the extent of the fish killed. ADEM advises that all recreational activities in the Mulberry Fork stop until more information is available.|
|Environmental - Release||August 14, 2016||Geismar, LA||Residents near the Honeywell Plant were alerted just before 11:30 pm that the sulfuric acid leaks at the plant were "under control," according to a fax from Iberville Parish emergency authorities.Residents had been asked to shelter in place after the leak was discovered. A second leak occurred not long after the first, authorities said.Chief Kevin Ambeau of St. Gabriel Police said he could see a cloud of gas after the release from Honeywell. He advised everyone to shelter in place in the St. Gabriel and Carville areas.First responders reported burning eyes due to the gas.A statement from Honeywell spokesperson Peter Dalpe read as follows:“Honeywell's Geismar facility experienced a leak of sulfuric acid this evening. The facility's emergency response team is working to mitigate and stop the leak. The plant has instructed employees of the site and two neighboring sites to shelter in place as a precaution. The facility also notified state police of the incident as per plant procedure.”The plant is located at 5525 Highway 3115 in Geismar.|
|Fire||July 27, 2016||
Fire crews have been sent to a site in Perth's industrial south where a pile of sulfur is smouldering. The Department of Environment and Regulation (DER) have also headed to Bis Industries on Port Road in Kwinana to test for environmental hazards. Fire authorities said they were alerted just after 7:00pm and three HAZMAT alarms had gone off. There was up to 70,000 tonnes of sulfur stored in a shed and at least part of it was "smouldering", a Department of Fire and Emergency Services spokesman said. More than 20 fire fighters were last night on the scene.
Transportation - Road
|July 25, 2016||Annville, PA||
The sulfuric acid spill that closed down Interstate 81 Monday
evening was successfully contained and was kept from harming the
environment, according to the Pennsylvania
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). “None of the material
spilled made it into waterways or into the environment beyond the
roadway,” John Repetz, spokesperson for the DEP, said. The DEP’s
emergency response unit went out to the incident to provide air
monitoring and are sent out to spills on an as-needed basis depending on
the nature of the incident, according to Repetz. The spill, which
occurred near mile marker 86.5, was the result of two leaking 275-gallon
totes – cube-shaped, plastic containers meant for the bulk transport of
fluids – that were being hauled inside of a tractor-trailer. There were
a total of 12 such totes on the trailer, and when the driver noticed
fluid leaking onto the roadway from the trailer, he immediately pulled
over and called 9-1-1, according to Repetz. Because of an
existing traffic backlog on Interstate 81 due to a crash in Dauphin
County, the driver found that he had to come to a quick stop as he
entered the curve where Interstates 78 and 81 merge, according to
information provided by David Beohm, public information officer with the
Pennsylvania State Police. The truck entered the curve,
encountered the backlog and "slammed" his brakes on to avoid colliding
with the stopped vehicles," Beohm said via email. "When he did, several
of the totes of sulfuric acid broke from the skids they were secured to,
fell over and spilled the contents." The driver was initially
unaware of the leaking totes and drove slowly in the backed up traffic
until he looked back and saw something leaking from his trailer,
according to the information Beohm provided. “From the beginning,
when the driver realized there was a problem, he took appropriate
action,” Repetz said. “The trucking company had all the proper
paperwork and was able to advise us on exactly what was in the totes.”
After the driver made the call at 5:22 p.m., the Lebanon County
Hazardous Material Response Team leapt into action along with state
police from Lickdale, fire crews from Ono, Jonestown, Fort Indiantown
Gap, Green Point and Fredericksburg, fire police and the First Aid and
Safety Patrol. “Upon their arrival, crews took caution and closed
down Interstate 81 in the area of the event due to the unknown size of
the leak, and the weather conditions that were present at the time,”
Gary Verna, chief of the Lebanon County Hazardous Material Response
Team, said. Verna, a former lieutenant with the First Aid and
Safety Patrol, took over as chief
of the HazMat team early in July.
Transportation - Road
|July 18, 2016|
|Transportation - Rail||July 2, 2016||
Julia Creek, Queensland
|A freight train carrying about 40 wagons of sulphuric acid derailed near Julia Creek early Saturday morning. A Queensland Rail spokesperson said about 4am an Aurizon train derailed 15km east of town – barely 15km from where a train derailment caused a major spill of sulphuric acid in December. The cause of that accident was flooding but the cause of the latest accident is not yet known though no one was injured. Four of the wagons left the tracks but remained upright and Queensland Rail said there were no leaks. The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service said they received a call about 4.35am, two crews attended the scene and after assessing the carriages found no apparent leaks. The train was heading west from Townsville to a mine site when it came off the tracks. Two passenger trains travelling between Mount Isa and Townsville have been cancelled. Queensland Rail safety investigators are on their way to the scene.|
|Spill||July 1, 2016||Watertown, NY||Workers at Knowlton Technologies Inc., 213 Factory St., were evacuated Thursday morning after a toxic chemical reaction occurred on one of its product lines. City Fire Chief Dale C. Herman said that at about 6 a.m. a worker was infusing a product line with chlorine when a nearby sulfuric acid line broke, causing the chemical reaction. The chief said the worker “had the presence of mind” to stop the flow of sulfuric acid and immediately diluted the reaction with water. Fumes filled the building’s lower level, prompting evacuation of all employees. Chief Herman said fire crews arrived and placed absorbent materials on the mixed chemicals and began ventilating the building. An odor of chlorine also was noted in the office areas of Knowlton and those areas were ventilated. “Everything was contained to the building,” Chief Herman said. “There was no escape to the public.” Workers in the immediate area of the reaction were evaluated by Guilfoyle Ambulance Service personnel, but none exhibited acute symptoms, the chief said. He said the workers will continue to be monitored in the coming days and, if they experience any difficulty breathing or other ailments, have been advised to seek medical treatment. By 8 a.m., workers had been allowed back into Knowlton’s building on Beebee Island along Mill Street. Chief Herman said the remainder of the workers were expected to be allowed to return to the Factory Street buildings by about 9 a.m. Fire crews cleared the scene just before 11 a.m.|
|Spill||June 28, 2016||Ulsan, South Korea||About a thousand liters of sulfuric acid leaked from the construction site of a smelter factory in the country's industrial city of Ulsan Tuesday, injuring six workers, firefighters said. The incident took place at around 9:15 a.m. at a factory owned by Korea Zinc Inc., the country's largest zinc smelter, some 414 kilometers southeast of Seoul. The chemical at some 70 percent concentration leaked as six workers were disassembling pipes for maintenance. All six are suffering from burns, with three of them in critical condition, authorities said. Firefighters said they are investigating whether there is any secondary damage from the accident. Earlier in the day, about a ton of waste chemicals comprised of hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid and water spilled out of a tank due to chemical reactions in Gumi, 261 kilometers southeast of Seoul. The firefighters completed cleanup of the spilled chemicals at around 5:30 a.m., about three hours after the incident was first reported. They said no harmful chemical substances were detected near the site of the accident.|
|Environmental Release||June 16, 2016||
Loveland and Fort Collins fire crews responded to a sulfur dioxide leak Thursday morning at Cardinal CG, 999 N. Van Buren Ave. The coated glass plant reported a 200-pound cylinder was leaking the potentially toxic gas at 8:36 a.m., according to Loveland fire Battalion Chief Jason Starck. Two employees were exposed to the sulfur dioxide. They were treated by Thompson Valley EMS crews and released at the scene. "Mainly (sulfur dioxide) is an irritant," Starck said. "But it can be toxic in high-enough doses. It can cause burning of the skin." Carie Dann, Loveland deputy fire marshal, said the gas can also cause respiratory issues. Loveland Fire Rescue Authority evacuated the rest of the building as a safety percaution, as crews were on scene were entering the building in hazmat suits to isolate and fix the leak, Starck said. The sulfur dioxide is used in the company's process in treating glass. Poudre Fire Authority crews responded as well — they brought extra personnel and additional monitoring equipment. "Hazmat takes a long time," Dann said. "It's very labor intensive, that's why PFA is here. ... It's to help make sure the entry team is dressed properly — so, it takes a lot of folks to do that. Once we know it's a hazmat scene, everything slows down and we become very deliberate." According to reports on the scanner, the leak was contained at 12:56 p.m.North Van Buren Avenue was closed from West Eighth Street to West 10th Street while crews worked.
Transportation - Road
|June 5, 2016||Umvoti Ultra CitySouth Africa||14 people are receiving treatment for severe respiratory issues after a truck carrying sulphuric acid overturned on the N2 between KwaDukuza and Ballito on the north coast.A truck carrying sulphuric acid overturned at the Umvoti Ultra City, south bound, on Saturday, IPSS Medical Rescue said. The truck carrying sixteen 1 000-litre containers overturned in the parking lot of the Ultra City, IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Dylan Meyrick said. "At the moment, we are not sure how many containers have ruptured because there is too much gas," he said. Fourteen people were taken to hospital. Meyrick said the fire department and medical rescue teams were on the scene trying to contain the situation.|
Transportation - Road
|June 2, 2016||
A leak of sulfur dioxide gas from a tanker truck on Thursday afternoon prompted the response of hazardous materials crews to an vacant lot near I-30 in Little Rock, a fire department spokesman said. The driver of the truck first smelled the leak while getting gas from the Love's Travel Stop near the Outlets of Little Rock and drove the tanker to the lot about 1 mile away, Capt. Jacob Lear-Sabowsky of the Little Rock Fire Department said. Lear-Sabowsky said the leak was reported about noon, and the scene was cleared by 3:30 p.m. No injuries were reported. The leak was in gas form, and no liquid had spilled on the highway, he said. Check back with Arkansas Online for updates on this developing story.
|Fire||May 23, 2016||Riverview, Florida||A tank of molten sulphur caught fire Monday afternoon near the Mosaic Co. plant in Riverview.|
|Transportation - Road||May 10, 2016||Geismer, LA||
An overturned 18-wheeler has shut down a Geismar road as hazardous materials crews respond to the scene.Jefferson Highway, also known as La. 73, is blocked between La. 30 and River Road, after a big rig incident about 11 a.m., said Louisiana State Police spokesman Trooper Bryan Lee. The 18-wheeler tanker contained sulfuric acid and a small amount of it is leaking from a safety valve on the tanker, a parish homeland security official said. Rick Webre, director of Ascension Parish homeland security, said that the valve is actually performing as it should be and the acid poses no threat to traffic or the surrounding area. He said no evacuation has been ordered for the area or the traffic site. He said a contractor is being called in to remove the sulfuric acid from the tanker.
|Spill||April 22, 2016||Flagler Beach, Florida||
A key thoroughfare was reopened late Thursday night after about 300 gallons of sulfuric acid spilled on State Road A1A earlier in the day and officials have begun calculating the cost of the cleanup. At 9:38 a.m., a skid holding a large container slipped off a flatbed truck as it traveled on S.R. A1A just north of the State Road 100 intersection, spilling the 50 percent sulfuric acid solution. A hazmat team from St. Johns County was called in to neutralize the solution and the state departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation were notified. Within three hours, the spill was neutralized with sodium bicarbonate, officials said. Units from the Flagler Beach Fire Department, Flagler County Emergency Management, Flagler County Fire Rescue, Flagler Beach Police Department, Flagler Beach Fire Police and Palm Coast Fire Police also responded. No injuries were reported. SWS Environmental Services, a contractor for Dumont Chemical Co. of Apopka, which owns the truck, excavated neutralized sand along the roadway, according to a report from the county. Flagler Beach Fire Department Capt. Bobby Pace said between 8 and 12 inches of the sand was excavated and about 36 yards of fill was brought in. In his conversation with the DEP, he didn't get any indication that there has been any long-term damage. Florida DOT contractor TME Enterprises reopened the road at 11:15 p.m. Thursday after declaring it “fully operational,” according to Steve Garten, the county's emergency services director. The city's Public Works Department still had the shoulder barricaded Friday morning. “Hopefully, it will be business as usual by the weekend,” said Pace. Flagler Beach Police Capt. Matthew Doughney said Thursday the truck driver had a valid license and was approved for transporting hazardous materials. Though the investigation was continuing, Doughney did not anticipate the driver would be charged in the incident.
Flagler Beach City Manager Larry Newsom said the city is compiling an invoice to be sent to the shipper, Hawkins Inc. of Apopka. He indicated that the various agencies involved may be compiling their own invoices. He did not have a cost estimate for the cleanup as of Friday. Hawkins formulates, manufactures, blends, distributes and sells chemicals to municipalities and businesses. Water treatment facilities are among the company's customers. According to the company's manifest, the acid solution was bound for the Dunes Community Development District at 101 Jungle Hut Road, Palm Coast. The district is responsible for a host of water and wastewater issues at four private communities north of Flagler Beach: Hammock Dunes, Ocean Hammock, Hammock Beach and Yacht Harbor Village.
|Spill||April 14, 2016||Milton, Pennsylvania||
A faulty valve caused a leak of about 200
gallons of sulfuric acid inside a building at the Milton Regional Sewer
Authority plant around midday today, a fire official said.
|Spill||April 5, 2016||EAST LANSING, Michigan||
About 800 gallons of sulfuric acid leaked from a tanker Tuesday morning inside the TB Simon Power Plant on Michigan State University's campus, causing the majority of workers to be evacuated, officials said. The chemical spill happened around 8:30 a.m., and Service Road between Harrison Road and Farm Lane was closed before reopening around 11 a.m., MSU police Capt. Doug Monette said. No injuries were reported. The spill was largely contained to the room with the tanker, university spokesman Jason Cody said, but a small amount leaked into a basement aisle and into a storm sewer system. He added that the university contacted the East Lansing wastewater treatment plant. Scott House, the city's director of public works, said the city has been in contact with the university and has been running tests throughout the day with no negative impacts. Crews were still working Tuesday afternoon to clean up the spill, test the air and return the affected area to a safe condition for workers, university spokesman Jason Cody said. That process was expected to be completed Tuesday evening. The leak occurred in a flange on an outside line that brings the acid to the tank, although the leak occurred inside the power plant, Cody said. No disruption of power to the university was reported, Cody said. He added that while a majority of workers were evacuated from the building "out of an abundance of caution," the necessary control operations to keep the plant functioning weren't affected. The power plant can be run by five employees, but at any given time about 40 people can be working at the plant, he said. The power plant uses water, treated with sulfuric acid and other chemicals, in the power generating process, Cody said. The water in the power plant treated with chemicals isn't connected to the campus' other water systems, he said. The plant was not damaged, Cody said. Monette said the East Lansing Fire Department and MSU's Environmental Health and Safety staff were notified of the spill, which is standard procedure. The university was bringing in an abatement company to assist with the cleanup, Cody said.
|Spill||March 27, 2016||Chicago, USA||
A hazardous materials response team was called to Chicago's Far South Side Sunday following a chemical spill. The Chicago Fire Dept. said 500 gallons of sulfuric acid spilled at a building in the 12200-block of S. Carondolet. Chicago firefighters were able to clean up the scene. There were no evacuations and no one was hurt.
Transportation - Road
|March 22, 2016||Queensland||A highway in northwest Queensland will reopen after a truck rolled and spilled 17,000 litres of sulphuric acid. The Flinders Highway at Maxwelton, near Richmond, was closed yesterday afternoon to allow authorities to clean up the hazardous material. The section of highway, between the Hopevale and Nondas West turn-offs, was expected to reopen at 6 o’clock tonight. “All of the sulfuric acid from the damaged tanks has been emptied out and a recovery crew is currently separating them from the prime mover,” police said in a statement. The prime mover and first tank would be driven from the site as neither were damaged, they said. The truck was carrying three tanks of sulphuric acid when it rolled. One leaked, prompting authorities to establish a 10km exclusion zone. The leak is just 100km from where an estimated 80,000 litres of sulphuric acid was spilt in a train derailment amid a drought-breaking deluge in late December.|
|Environmental = Release||February 18, 2016||Delaware City, Delaware, USA||A toxic chemical was released into the air from the Delaware City Refinery, according to state environmental officials. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control said the emission of 144 lbs. of sulfur dioxide happened Thursday, February 18, 2016 around 7:13 a.m. The gas, considered to be hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency, and bears a pungent, irritating, and rotten smell. DNREC was investigating the incident.|
|Environmental = Release||
February 18, 2015
|Middleton, Ohio, USA||
The quick actions of the Pilot Chemical Co. response team, and a steady breeze were credited for reducing the risks associated with a potentially dangerous chemical spill Thursday morning.
Middletown Division of Fire Chief Paul Lolli said when his department was notified at 11:11 a.m. Thursday that sulfur trioxide had leaked from a tanker while the chemical was being transferred into the facility, the company’s response team had stopped the leak and contained it in a spill pit.
Plus, Lolli said, the 5 to 10 mph winds blowing from the east helped dilute and push the plume of smoke off to the west and out of the area. Sulfur trioxide can cause serious burns on both inhalation and ingestion because it is highly corrosive, Lolli said. He said it should be handled with extreme care since it reacts with water violently and produces highly corrosive sulfuric acid.
Lolli said if sulfur trioxide is breathed or comes in contact with skin it can cause “serious medical problems,” though no injuries were reported.
Two hours after the leak was reported at 3436 Yankee Road, most of the emergency personal from the Butler County Hazardous Material Team, Middletown and Monroe firefighters and police officers had left the scene. Yankee Road was closed for more than two hours.
Pilot officials said there were between 3,500 and 4,000 gallons of sulfur trioxide stored in the tanker. Lolli said “not a lot” spilled. When pressed on the amount by reporters, Lolli estimated less than 50 gallons escaped. He said one plume of smoke was visible after the sulfur trioxide exited the tanker.
It’s unclear how the chemical leaked, and Lolli said a team of investigators from Pilot and the fire department will try to determine a cause. He said the investigation would begin once the spill was cleaned up. He didn’t have a timetable when the investigation will be complete.
Middletown officials notified about 800 residents near Pilot Chemical about the potential dangers of the chemicals, and they were told to remain indoors.
The Middletown City Schools District issued a sheltering in place for students and staff at Amanda Elementary on Oxford State Road, though concerned parents were permitted to pick up their students. The school is located about one mile from the plant. School officials said about 30 students were picked up early by their parents.
Superintendent Sam Ison said all students were placed in the school’s cafeteria as a precaution. He said all windows at the school were closed and the HVAC system was turned off during the sheltering in place.
Pilot Chemical released the following statement regarding the spill: “We are aware that a chemical leak occurred shortly after 11 a.m. at our Middletown plant. Our team is actively working with city and fire department officials to ensure the safety of our employees, our neighbors and the community. We will share more details as we can. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation.”
|Transportation - Road||February 2, 2016||USA||
An adverse reaction to a change in medication might have contributed to a semi driver hauling a tanker full of sulfuric acid driving into a ditch off Interstate 41 Tuesday in Washington County, the sheriff's office said. The driver began to feel dizzy and nauseous while traveling north in the left lane of the highway south of state Highway 60, according to a news release from the Washington County Sheriff's Office. According to the release, the semi, driven by a 54-year-old Greenfield man, veered into the right lane before entering the ditch. There was never any danger of leakage from the tanker, according to the sheriff's office. A recent change in prescribed medication for the operator is a possible contributing factor to the accident, according to the sheriff's office. The driver was not transported from the scene and there was no damage to the semi. The driver was given an inspection report and placed out of service until no longer ill, according to the release.
|Transportation - Road||January 22, 2016||Newcastle, NSW||
January 22, 2016 - A truck driver was lucky to escape serious injury when his rig, loaded with sulphur, caught fire at Dyraaba near Casino. Newcastle Fire Communications shift supervisor Paul Randall said NSW Fire and Rescue Casino brigade was called to Sextonville Rd at 12.30pm today after reports a truck had caught fire. When fire fighters arrived at the scene they found it was no ordinary truck fire, as the burning eight-tonne rig was carrying three-and-a-half tonnes of sulphur, Mr Randall said. Reinforcements were called from across the Northern Rivers, with eight tankers called to the scene from Lismore, Goonellabah, Alstonville and Kyogle, and Hazmat units from Goonellabah and Tweed Heads. “It was very fortunate that when fire fighters arrived the truck driver had managed to get out of the vehicle and to safety,” he said. The Gavin Creighton’s Fertiliser Spreading truck spilled part of the sulphur, Mr Randall said, and burned for more than three hours as fire fighters battled the blaze and shifting wind conditions. “One minute fire fighters were upwind from the truck and the next minute the wind would swing around and they had to move the tankers and personnel to the other side of the truck,” he said. “Hazmat units monitored any run-off from the fire and also conducted atmospheric testing at the scene to make sure fumes weren’t affecting any nearby residents, because burning sulphur gives off very toxic fumes.
“The Rural Fire Service had tankers at the scene relaying water to NSW Fire and Rescue.” By 4.05pm, Mr Randall said fire fighters had the blaze extinguished and were moving the remaining sulphur around to ensure there were no remaining hotspots, while atmospheric testing continued. Mr Randall said the cause of the fire was yet to be determined. Owner of the truck, Jodie Creighton, said the insured truck was totally destroyed. “My main concern was for our driver and fortunately he is safe and was unharmed,” she said. Losing the truck will impact the business, Mrs Creighton said, but fortunately they had other trucks they could continue operating. “At the end of the day we’re a small family business and we are down a truck so I don’t know what we will do,” she said. “It has been a very stressful afternoon but the main thing is everyone is safe.”
|Transportation - Rail||January 20, 2016||Martinez, California||
January 20, 2016 - Three train cars carrying sulfuric acid have been placed back on the tracks under Interstate Highway 680 in Martinez and moved away from the area where they derailed Wednesday morning, according to firefighters. Contra Costa County firefighters announced via Twitter that all the cars had been put back on the tracks and the scene had been turned back over to the railroad company at 7:48 p.m. The tanker cars, which did not leak their contents, initially derailed under the highway near Marina Vista Avenue at about 7:30 a.m., Union Pacific Railroad spokesman Francisco Castillo Jr. said. Castillo said a Union Pacific crew delivered another company’s 20 train cars on Monday from its tracks to an industry line used by a company called Eco Services. According to county officials, the company removes certain substances from the acid. When the train was being moved, three of its tanker cars came off the tracks, Castillo said. One of the cars tipped over at a roughly 45-degree angle. County hazmat crews that initially responded determined the tankers were not leaking their sulfuric acid contents. Local activist Andrés Soto, a spokesman for Benicians for a Safe and Healthy Community, was at the scene this afternoon. “The whole community dodged a bullet,” he said, given that the sulfuric acid didn’t leak out. He called the incident a “near miss.” Soto, whose group is against a proposal to deliver crude oil by rail to a Valero refinery in Benicia, said this represents a warning sign. “Once again we learn transporting hazardous materials by railroads is a dangerous business,” he said.
January 27, 2016 - Contra Costa County hazardous materials officials said today there are troubling aspects to a company's initial account of the derailment of sulfuric acid-filled train cars last week in Martinez. The three train tanker cars, which did not leak their contents, derailed near the Interstate Highway 680 overpass along Marina Vista Avenue at 6:45 a.m. on Jan. 20. The cars were part of a group of 12 that were separated from a 20-car delivery to a company called Eco Services on an industry line off of Union Pacific's main line, Eco Services officials said in a report. When the cars were separated on the tracks to be brought into the company's facility, they immediately started rolling south down a gradient. According to the report, three of the 12 cars eventually came off the tracks after striking a derail device that's meant to prevent a collision about 50 feet west of the highway's overpass. The report, which was filed Monday, was addressed to Contra Costa County's chief environmental health and hazardous materials officer, Randy Sawyer. Sawyer said it should be seen as concerning that the account of the incident may imply that there were cars filled with hazardous materials that did not have a proper braking system applied. Sawyer also pointed out, as the report itself does, that the company made no effort to contact his agency until shortly after 9:30 a.m., nearly three hours after the derailment. He added that the company was not legally compelled to report the incident to county hazardous materials officials, given that there was no spill. "Still, we would expect that they would notify us as quickly as they could, maybe within 15 minutes," Sawyer said. Eco Services, a company that removes certain substances from sulfuric acid as part of the oil refining process, was not immediately available for comment. According to the company's report, it alerted Union Pacific to the incident within around 15 minutes. All the cars were put back on the tracks without further issues by 7:35 p.m. that day. But the derailment was something that environmental advocates, including Benicians for a Safe and Healthy Community and the local chapter of the Sierra Club, considered a "near miss." The activist groups saw the incident as a reminder of the potential dangers of delivering crude oil products by rail. "Every Bay Area resident needs to contact their local representatives and make sure they take a stand against extreme crude by rail," Ratha Lai of the Sierra Club's San Francisco Bay Chapter said in a statement last week. Sawyer didn't go as far as calling it a near-miss, given the type of materials involved and the lack of a spill, but said he is following up with other agencies to learn more about why it occurred. The California Public Utilities Commission is investigating the incident, commission officials confirmed today. The agency regulates privately owned rail transit, among other things. CPUC officials said they are not releasing any information about the investigation at this time. Officials at Pacific Union, which is also helping to conduct an investigation into the incident, were also unable to provide further details.
|Storage||January 15, 2016||Tampa Bay, Florida||
Authorities say a worker was killed at a Port Tampa Bay site when a giant pile of sulfur collapsed on his front-end loader. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokesman Larry McKinnon told local media outlets that the Gulf Coast Bulk Equipment employee was moving sulfur to a semitrailer at the Port Redwing site Friday morning when the 30-foot pile collapsed. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Nacole Revette said the man, who wasn't immediately named, likely died from inhaling the sulfur, but no official cause of death has been released. She said firefighters had to work carefully to remove the body so they wouldn't cause another collapse. Revette says rain Friday morning kept the sulfur from forming a cloud and possibly endangering the surrounding area. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate.
When a 30-foot mound of sulfur fell in a yellow avalanche and engulfed Joe Lammlein as he was working in a front-end loader Friday, his own brother tried to dig him out. Three responding deputies and other workers also dug, desperate to save the 45-year-old worker trapped in a sulfur pit at Port Tampa Bay. But they couldn't help him. Lammlein died trapped inside the buried front loader at Port Redwing off Wyandotte Road. It took about four hours for rescuers to recover his body, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. On Friday evening, Lammlein's family was in mourning. Two brothers worked there Friday. Oldest brother George Lammlein said middle brother Mike was working on the other side of the sulfur pile. It was shortly after 10 a.m. The pile toppled onto the youngest brother, Joe Lammlein, after he went to scoop up sulfur and move it into a semitrailer truck. "It could have happened to either one of them," said George Lammlein, 54. Joe Lammlein of Palmetto likely died from inhaling the sulfur, said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Nacole Revette. She said sulfur that is inhaled sticks to the lungs. The investigation into the death is ongoing; no official cause of death had been made public.
"(It was) a freak accident at work," Revette said. "It's hard for the co-workers who have to sit there and watch everything." Joe Lammlein was an employee with Gulf Coast Bulk Equipment for about five years, his oldest brother said. According to a Tampa Port Authority news release from March 2015, the Palmetto company signed a six-year lease with the port to handle prilled sulfur imports on a 5-acre parcel at Port Redwing. Revette said rescuers were able to reach the driver's seat of the front loader to confirm the driver had died. She said crews had to work carefully to remove the front loader to prevent causing another collapse. A representative for the company could not be reached for comment. The Lammlein family said the company has offered to pay for funeral costs. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the accident, said Tampa area director Les Grove. Investigators will determine if the work site was at fault in the accident, and if so it could be cited and fined, Grove said.
George Lammlein described brother Joe as kind, caring and a devoted worker.
"He would have done anything for anybody," he said.
|January 8, 2016||NSW, Australia||
Transportation - Rail
|December 27, 2015||
The locomotive and all 26 carriages derailed at 10:20am about 20 kilometres east of the outback town. Authorities declared an emergency under the Public Safety Preservation Act and placed a two-kilometre exclusion zone around the crash site. They said there was minor leakage of sulphuric acid and diesel fuel spillage at the crash site. Aurizon said three drivers sustained minor injuries in the accident and attended the Julia Creek hospital. "Two drivers have been released and the third is expected to be released later today," an Aurizon spokesperson said on Sunday. "At this early stage, the cause of the incident is not known. Both Aurizon and Queensland Rail will investigate the incident and determine its cause. "At this time the focus is on recovery of the incident site." The Flinders Highway has been closed in both directions between Julia Creek and Richmond. Queensland Rail said it was unclear how long the train line would remain closed. Julia Creek Hotel publican David Wyld said the locomotive went into the bore drain after it rolled and ended up underwater. "So that would've pulled off all the whole 26 carriages with sulphuric acid," he said. Mr Wyld said the road was blocked by rail workers immediately after the accident. "The police and all that couldn't get to it, blocked the whole road off straight away," he said. "And you could smell the sulphuric acid where they actually blocked it off." Queensland Rail works to access site. A spokeswoman from Queensland Rail said wet weather had flooded local roads, so they had not been able to get anyone on site to assess the damage. "We are looking at alternate ways to get Queensland Rail crews to site," she said. "Passenger rail services have been cancelled. The Inlander has been cancelled today and tomorrow from Townsville to Mount Isa. "Updates on passenger services will be made as soon as they are available." Aurizon said interim arrangements had been put in place to maintain site safety until the status of the derailed wagons and any product spillage could be confirmed.
December 29, 2015 - It was feared more than 30,000 litres (7,925 gallons) of sulphuric acid had spilled after all 26 carriages of a freight train carrying the chemical derailed in remote northern Australia, authorities said on Tuesday.The train, belonging to locally listed freight firm Aurizon Ltd, was carrying about 819,000 litres (216,360 gallons) of sulphuric acid, four times the amount first estimated, when it derailed in Queensland state on Sunday."One of the carriages has likely ruptured and it is possible that up to 31,500 litres of acid has leaked out," Queensland Police said in a statement.Testing by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection suggested that a nearby waterway had not been adversely affected by any leak, the statement said.Aurizon said in an email to Reuters the cause of the incident was not yet known. Three train drivers had received minor injuries but had been released from hospital, it said.A derailment and chemical spill adds to pressure on the haulage company after a downturn in coal shipping volumes forced it to issue a profit warning last week, sending its shares sharply lower.It would also disrupt mining companies already slashing production volumes to cope with weak commodity prices. Miners use sulphuric acid to separate and clean some minerals.The train was traveling from the east coast port city of Townsville to Phosphate Hill, 1,000 km (620 miles) inland, Aurizon said.The police statement did not give a cause for the derailment but said the area had experienced flooding, causing a nearby highway to be cut off.Police said they had formed a 2-km (1.2-mile) exclusion zone around the crash site to help salvage crews gain access.
January 2, 2016 - A temporary track will be built around the accident site after a train that was carrying more than 800,000 litres of sulphuric acid derailed in Queensland’s northwest. A highway near a freight train that derailed in Queensland’s northwest has reopened almost a week after the accident, and a temporary track will be built to bypass the site. The train was carrying more than 800,000 litres of sulphuric acid, of which about 31,500 litres spilled when all 26 of the train’s wagons overturned near Julia Creek last Sunday. An exclusion zone around the site was reduced on Saturday afternoon, allowing the Flinders Highway to open. “While there is no danger for people travelling on the Flinders Highway past the derailment site, police will enforce a reduced speed of 40km/h,” Queensland Police said in a statement. An area of 50 metres all around the train will remain cordoned off and aircraft are banned from flying above the site. Specialists are continuing to monitor water quality in the area. The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection said earlier this week it held concerns about acidity levels in nearby Horse Creek and was looking at ways to neutralise the acid.
January 5, 2016 -
January 5, 2016 -Sulfuric acid may have leaked from a second wagon on a train that derailed in Queensland's northwest more than a week ago. The train was carrying more than 800,000 litres of sulfuric acid when all 26 wagons derailed near Julia Creek on December 27. It was initially estimated that 31,500 litres had spilled from one wagon, but it has become apparent a second wagon may also have a minor leak. "Queensland Rail's Incident Rail Commander was yesterday (Tuesday) advised by Incitec Pivot that one additional wagon may also have a very minor leak, which is being treated on site," the company's chief executive Helen Gluer said. Water testing around the crash site came back positive for the toxic chemical at Horse Creek, a small slow-flowing waterway, prompting authorities to neutralise the acid. Ms Gluer said Queensland Rail had appointed a consulting company to undertake an environmental monitoring program and to provide expert advice about any environmental impacts. The Mount Isa line remains closed, with the locomotive and 26 wagons on their side. Wet conditions have hampered recovery efforts and the construction of a temporary track around the crash site. Recovery crews are building access roads from a nearby highway to the railway so heavy machinery can access the site. "Construction of the deviation has unfortunately been delayed due to wet ground conditions around the site. However, with water beginning to clear we expect to complete the deviation late next week," Ms Gluer said. The Inlander service has been replaced by buses, while freight trains are only running between Mount Isa and Phosphate Hill.
January 8, 2016 - Construction has begun on a temporary track around the site of a derailed train in Queensland's northwest. The train was carrying more than 800,000 litres of sulfuric acid, of which about 31,500 litres spilled, when all 26 of its wagons overturned near Julia Creek on December 27, closing the Mount Isa line. The closure has created a backlog of freight services and forced the Inlander service to be replaced by buses. Wet conditions have hampered the recovery but construction of the 800-metre bypass began overnight on Thursday. Queensland Rail's Michael Mitchell said more than 50 staff would work around the clock building the track in a bid to re-open the line as soon as possible. "Conditions permitting, we expect construction and certification of the rail deviation to be complete middle of next week," he said. The sulfuric acid spillage has also caused environmental headaches. Water testing around the crash site came back positive for the toxic chemical at Horse Creek, a small slow-flowing waterway, prompting authorities to neutralise the acid. It was initially estimated that 31,500 litres had spilled from one wagon, but this week it became apparent that a second wagon may also have a minor leak. Queensland Rail has appointed a consulting company to undertake an environmental monitoring program and to provide expert advice about any environmental impacts.
January 12, 2016 - Train services have resumed on the Mount Isa line after a major derailment which spilt thousands of litres of sulphuric acid in north-west Queensland. Queensland Rail crews spent the past five days constructing an 800-metre temporary deviation around the 26-wagon train, about 20 kilometres east of Julia Creek. The train was carrying 819,000 litres of sulphuric acid when it derailed on December 27. One of the carriages ruptured, spilling up to 31,500 litres of the acid, some of which made it into the waterways. The derailment forced Queensland Rail to suspend all services between Mount Isa to Townsville. Queensland Rail's Rebecca Masci said the deviation was likely to be in place for a number of months. "We're talking about 3,000 tonnes of rock or ballast on this track and a thousand sleepers, so there's a lot of grunt work that actually went into delivering this deviation quickly," she said. "This is a really tricky site and we have to approach everything with the utmost care to make sure that as we move forward we do it as quickly as possible. "But it needs to be done safely for the people on site as well as, most importantly, not causing any further impact to the environment." Constructing the deviation also involved more than 2,000 tonnes of road base and 1.6 kilometres of rail line. The first freight train travelled over the rail deviation at 6:20pm Wednesday and the first Inlander passenger service is due tonight. Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said about 50 Queensland Rail staff worked on the temporary track. "We know communities in the north west rely on the Mount Isa line for passenger services and to transport freight," Mr Hinchliffe said. "Constructing this deviation and resuming trains as quickly and safely as possible has been one of our highest priorities." Queensland Rail appointed Golder Associates last week to monitor the environment around the derailment and to ensure the deviation could be constructed safely. Work continues to remove the derailment wreckage.
February 9, 2016 - A north-west Queensland cattle producer whose
dam was contaminated by sulphuric acid during a train derailment is
asking for ongoing water and soil testing to ensure his land is left in
a healthy state. Police estimated up to 31,500 litres of acid
spilled from a 26-carriage freight train after it came off its
tracks east of Julia Creek on December 27. A dam on Garomna
Station, owned by Nigel Simmons, was contaminated by the acid spill and
has been off limits to livestock since the incident. He expected
the acid to be neutralised by January 22, but said works to mix his dam
water with agricultural lime to bring the PH level up were taking longer
than expected. Mr Simmons said he had not asked for compensation,
but wanted the companies involved in the derailment to "fix the mess
they've made". "At the end of the day we just want a dam we can
use and country that still grows grass," he said. "And, for the
long term too, we're expecting them to maintain checks on the water
throughout the year, making sure it is still usable for cattle.
"Nothing is in writing but I've said all along that's what I want and
they've always said that's what they plan to do with the follow up.
"I guess when they're finished or close to being finished we'll get
something in writing so they will be back to maintain it."
Queensland Rail (QR) said it had made a commitment to continue testing affected land and water on Garomna Station and other areas around the derailment. Three companies have been involved in the clean-up effort since December. QR owns the rail line, Aurizon owns the locomotive, and fertiliser manufacturing company Incitec Pivot (IPL) owns the carriages and the sulphuric acid involved in the spill. QR corporate and customer relations manager Rebecca Masci said all three companies were working on a remediation plan to make sure the site was returned to its original condition.
"Queensland Rail will absolutely be remaining on site until the whole landscape has been brought back up to its appropriate PH levels and I know that IPL is very much committed to the remediation of Mr Simmons' dam as well to bring that back up to the appropriate PH level," she said. "We will absolutely remain committed to continue to test over time, not only Mr Simmons' dam but also the whole area out there that has been impacted, so that it remains healthy over a period of time. "If there was any unusual activity in terms of the PH level, that continual testing would mean we'd be able to treat that immediately.Ms Masci said the acid and Aurizon locomotive were no longer at the crash site, and the remaining train carriages should be gone within days. She also confirmed IPL was still working to rehabilitate the dam water at Garomna Station. "The reason that its taken longer than one might have hoped for is because we have to be very careful about the process of bringing the PH back up to that mid-range of around 6.5 to 8.5 which is suitable for cattle to drink from," Ms Masci said. "They go through a process of mixing agricultural lime into a slurry, for want of a better term, and they then inject that into the dam and each day and they gradually bring it up to a healthier level so that, over time, it comes back to that mid-range."
|Transportation - Road||December 7, 2015||
Pubnico, Nova Scotia
No other vehicles were involved in the incident and the driver was not injured, according to the RCMP. Emergency personnel, including hazmat teams, have been dispatched to the scene. One crew was reported to have come from Kings County to assist in the cleanup. Provincial RCMP spokesperson Craig Burnett said the section of highway would be closed for several hours as the spill is cleaned up, well into this evening. The RCMP had originally said that the tractor trailer tipped and some barrels containing the sulphuric acid were punctured, and tweets that were sent out by the RCMP referred to a "crash" having occured. Later on Twitter the RCMP said an investigation had determined that a crash did not occur, but that the "Tractor trailer driver noticed issue with load and parked." The RCMP later said the spill occurred from a leaking barrell that was in an enclosed trailor. It had come loose. The truck was carrying several barrells of sulphuric acid. There was no official media release about the incident issued by the RCMP on Monday. The highway was closed betweens Exits 30 near Barrington and Exit 32 near Argyle from Monday afternoon until late Monday night. While the section of highway was closed traffic was being rerouted to Route 3.
|Transportation - Barge||November 11, 2015||India||
- The railway officials would assess the damage to the bridge after the barge was disengaged from the bridge. Senior officials of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), FACT officials and officials of the company that operates the ferry service inspected the site. The barge hit the base of a column which remained submerged as the crew tried to maneuver under the railway bridge and got stuck there. KOCHI: A barge ferrying sulfur to FACT rammed into a column of Kaniampuzha railway bridge in the early hours on Saturday and got trapped, forcing the Railway officials to impose speed restriction in the Ernakulam-Kottayam route. In the wake of the accident, a speed restriction of 30 km per hour on trains in the route were imposed by the Railway officials. KOCHI: A barge ferrying sulfur to FACT rammed into a column of Kaniampuzha railway bridge in the early hours on Saturday and got trapped, forcing the Railway officials to impose speed restriction in the Ernakulam-Kottayam route. Consequently, many trains passing through this stretch got considerably delayed. The barge hit the base of a column which remained submerged as the crew tried to maneuver under the railway bridge and got stuck there. Efforts continued on Saturday night to free the barge. The officials hope that the attempts would be successful during high tide as earlier efforts to extricate the barge using other vessels failed. In the wake of the accident, a speed restriction of 30 km per hour on trains in the route were imposed by the Railway officials. According to officials the trains were delayed over 10 minutes during peak hours. Senior officials of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), FACT officials and officials of the company that operates the ferry service inspected the site. The railway officials would assess the damage to the bridge after the barge was disengaged from the bridge..
|Fire||October 28, 2015||Atmore||
Atmore firefighters spent more than five hours battling a chemical fire at Sunbelt Chemicals on Saturday. AFD Chief Ronald Peebles said the fire department arrived on scene at 8:50 a.m. and finished up at 2:30 p.m. Peebles said the fire started when a side grinder caused a spark to catch some sulfur dust on fire. “With that sulfur dust, it’s funny to deal with,” Peebles said. “You can put it out in one spot, and then it’ll pop up in another.” Peebles said sulfur dust is fine dust that can spread easily, and when burning produces a chemical gas that is bad for breathing. “It sporadically can jump from place to place,” he said. The fire was inside of an office building inside of a larger building, Peebles said. Peebles said the fire turned into a hazmat situation pretty fast. “It had to be treated delicately and slowly,” he said. “Then, we spent a lot of time making sure we had everything possible out so we didn’t have a rekindle on it. “It could’ve turned into one nasty monster,” he said. “The guys did a heck-of-a job handling the fire.” Because breathing became an issue, the AFD used 44 bottles of air to quench the fire, Peebles said. “On a normal house fire, we may go through five,” he said. Peebles said there was one person injured, adding that he had an allergic reaction to the sulfur. “He was sent to the hospital, and he’s going to be fine,” he said. Peebles said the condition of the structure is alright, and the fire more or less burned the insulation on top of the complex and messed up one of the A/C systems. “It could’ve been an ugly situation if they couldn’t have handled the fire the way they did,” he said.
|Environmental - Release||August 15, 2015||
Terre Haute, Indiana
Spectators at a racetrack in Indiana were sickened by a sulfur dioxide
leak on Saturday. As many as 18 people were admitted to a local
hospital, complaining of irritable breathing and burning skin. The
small, dirt track was evacuated and the event was shut down.
Authorities say the chemical was sulfur dioxide and they blame a
neighboring facility owned by the Hydrite Chemical Company. Terre
Haute Fire Battalion Chief Joe Swan said, “We believe Hydrite’s got
everything shot down and there’s no leaks at this time.”
August 21, 2015
Company officials say there'll be some temporary production changes after a chemical leak in Terre Haute last weekend.
|Spill||July 24, 2015||Indian Orchard||A 500 to 1,000 gallon spill of sulfuric acid at the Masspower facility in Indian Orchard has been cleaned up and is being monitored, according to the state DEP and the plant's owner.On July 7, Masspower workers reported a leak from piping connected to a sulfuric acid tank into a containment area, according to documents filed with the DEP. Masspower estimated that 500 to 1,000 gallons escaped the tank, and hired a contractor to begin a clean-up after reporting the incident.A spokesman for Dynegy, the Houston-based energy company that owns the facility, said the leak was reported and cleaned up in accordance to regulations with no exposure to the outside environment."It was identified by a plant operator making normal rounds. Plant personnel followed all emergency response plans already in place. Mass DEP was notified immediately, as well as the Springfield fire department," spokesman David Onufer said. "You never like to see these things, but this was handled best as it could be."The acid was contained to the facility, DEP spokeswoman Catherine Skiba confirmed. A containment room and an attached wastewater tank were contaminated have been cleaned up. The company reported no injuries to workers in a report to the DEP."They did conduct the cleanup and they are conducting environmental monitoring to protect the safety of personnel," Skiba said.The cause of the leak was an elbow pipe connected to the bottom of the tank, which has been replaced, Onufer said.The Masspower facility, near the banks of the Chicopee River on Worcester street, is a 264 megawatt electric plant fueled by natural gas and has operated since 1993, according to regulatory filings with the DEP.|
|Spill||July 20, 2015||Ector County||Ector County officials are working to clean up a sulfuric acid spill from Sunday afternoon.The spill occurred around 3:30 p.m. Sunday at 220 S. Proctor Ave. Officials with the Ector County Attorney’s Office said the spill occurred when the acid was being transferred from a train to storage tanks at a local business.A hose used to transfer the acid reportedly ruptured causing the spill, officials said.County Attorney Dusty Gallivan said that right now they are waiting for a team from Houston to arrive and assist in the clean up.The spill was contained Sunday night, and officials are estimating a cleanup time of two to three days.|
Transportation - Rail
|July 17, 2015||Namibia||
It never rains but pours for the national railway carrier of Namibia, TransNamib as earlier this week Train 2703 with two Class 34 locomotives carrying a load of 20 sulphuric acid tankers set for Rio Tinto's Rössing Uranium mine derailed at point 176 en-route from Walvis Bay to Arandis.
According to TransNamib's executive spokesperson, Struggle Ihuhua no injuries were recorded but as a result of the incident, normal passenger and freight rail traffic from Walvis Bay to both Windhoek and the north will be affected and further information as per development on the scene will become available later."Emergency response and accident investigation teams are on the scene to assess the cause of the accident, to assess the losses suffered and to speedily restore operations to normal," he added.Meanwhile, Rössing Uranium mine spokesperson Botha Ellis in a statement said the incident was managed promptly according to set emergency procedures and practices by all relevant parties.
"Our team of experts was also on the scene to give support and assistance, ensuring that all was done in a safe manner. We are told that the rail will be repaired this week," he added.The Rössing Uranium mine, about five months ago experienced a snag after incurring damage from fire on its Final Product Recovery (FPR) plant.On this week's accident, Botha said, "the current incident does not impact our production as we have adequate amounts of sulphuric acid stored on site to continue with normal operations. Sulphuric acid is used in Rössing's extraction process to produce uranium oxide."Rössing's Uranium is made up of the following shareholders. The British-Australian mining conglomerate, Rio Tinto Group holds a 69%, the Iranian government 15% while the Namibian government holds 3%.
July 24, 2015
The derailment of two TransNamib locomotives and a tanker carrying about 25 000 litres of sulphuric acid behind the dunes near Walvis Bay last week was caused by the presence of “sand on the tracks due to the strong east wind”.
This was the explanation given in a response from the parastatal to The Namibian. The derailment also resulted in a limited spill of the acid used in the leeching of uranium ore. The train was pulling 20 tankers carrying about 460 000 litres of sulphuric acid to Rio Tinto's Rössing Uranium mine near Arandis. “This was an unfortunate incident which we had no control of. However, the spill was minor and was handled in accordance with the regulations by Rössing Uranium's hazard team,” read the response from TransNamib's senior spokesman Struggle Ihuhua. Fortunately no one was injured in the accident, although unverifiable damage to infrastructure included “cosmetic to serious damage” to the two locomotives and to about 300 metres of track. “Our business has been affected. We lost three nights of transporting, because no trains moved out of Walvis Bay and all our customers were affected,” he concluded. The port of Walvis Bay is a logistics hub through which most of the bulk imports and exports pass. Inquiries to Rössing Uranium were redirected to TransNamib. In December 2012 two locomotives and 17 wagons carrying manganese derailed on the line near the site of the latest derailment. That accident cost TransNamib over N$65 million. The accident was said to have been caused by a section of track that was damaged by a truck that got stuck while crossing the railway line. Little or no strong easterly winds were recorded during the time of the accident although strong south westerly winds, which could have carried dune sand over the tracks prevailed.
July 29, 2015
The Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET), Pohamba Shifeta, has not ruled out the possibility of laying criminal charges against TransNamib management, for allegedly failing to comply with the Environmental Management Act of 2007.This follows the recent derailment of a goods train in the Dorob National Park, transporting toxic acid from Walvis Bay to Rössing mine.Cargo wagons overturned due to sand on the railway tracks, causing sulphuric acid to spill in the park. The incident raised the hackles of the MET as the custodian of Namibia’s natural environment. Sulphuric acid is a very corrosive and poisonous chemical.Shifeta said although TransNamib was issued with an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) in 2014, which is valid for three years, they failed to inspect the railway to ensure the passage of the dangerous substance would be safe, which is required in terms of the law.“I was informed that TransNamib management apparently does not do inspections,” he stated.“The area is sensitive because of sand dunes. The rail should be inspected to ensure it’s clean before transporting any chemical,” he added.He said it’s high time Namibians take the Environmental Management Act seriously, adding that culprits breaking the law would be dealt with and have to “face the music”.“We will not leave any stone unturned. Anyone or any company found wanting will be taken to task. I want to warn the board of directors that they have a duty to take care of the environment and not endanger the lives of Namibians,” he said.He would however not say whether a criminal case would be opened against TransNamib.“The possibility of criminal charges against the company is there. People who are responsible will be fined depending on the extent of damage to the environment.If gross negligence is found against individuals, it can be transformed into criminal charges after investigations are done.They can be taken to task depending on whoever was responsible,” Shifeta said.Rail inspection is one of the conditions stipulated in the Environmental Plan.When environmental officers arrived at the scene of the derailment, TransNamib was already busy rehabilitating the area, he said.
Transportation - Rail
|July 11, 2015||Ebenezer, Saskatchewan||
Twelve homes were evacuated Friday after a CN train derailed just north of
Yorkton.A dozen rail cars jumped the tracks near Ebenezer, Sask. around 1:50
p.m. Four of the cars were carrying liquid sulfur; seven were carrying
cement, and one was empty.A CN Rail spokesperson told CTV News that some
liquid sulfur leaked.No one was injured, according to RCMP, but a dozen
homes were evacuated as a precautionary measure.Residents were allowed back
in their homes late Friday evening.Some roads were blocked in the area as CN
police investigated.Crews were still cleaning the spill and repairing the
track on Saturday. A CN spokesperson expected the track to re-open later in
July 15, 2015
The cleanup of a train wreck that occurred in the tiny village of Ebenezer July 10 will take another two to three weeks to complete. Ray Miller, Ebenezer fire chief and council member, explained that tanker cars containing molten sulphur had to be left at the scene so the contents can cool and solidify before CN can cut the tanks open and remove the product. He likened the tankers to large thermoses; the sulphur is transported in a liquid form at approximately 290 degrees Fahrenheit for ease of transfer. The company has security guards manning the site 24 hours a day. When the train derailed at approximately 1:50 p.m. Friday, some of the molten sulphur leaked into the ditch beside the tracks and into a nearby slough. Yorkton fire chief Trevor Morrisey confirmed that three cars containing sulphur were punctured and leaked. The RCMP evacuated a dozen nearby homes while firefighters from Ebenezer, Rhein and Yorkton contained the spill by building up a berm around the area. The villagers were allowed back into their homes later Friday evening. CN is reporting minimal environmental impact, but village officials are expecting to have a meeting with the province’s Water Security Agency this week to further assess the situation. According to an eyewitness, there was a grinding sound just before one of the cars jumped the track causing 11 more to pile up behind it. Seven of the 12 derailed cars contained cement, four were carrying liquid sulphur and one was empty. CN crews worked through the night and Saturday to replace the section of track that was damaged in the wreck. Miller said the company has been very good about keeping the village informed about what is going on, but the accident has opened his eyes to the potential hazards that are passing through the town every day. “It could have been a lot worse,” he said. Aside from the ongoing cleanup, Miller said things are back to normal. “Everybody is cool, nobody’s upset,” he said. “I think people were quite pleased with the way we handled it.” He added that the Rhein and Yorkton fire departments provided “fantastic support.”
Transportation - Road
|July 10, 2015||Beulah, North Dakota||North Dakota Transportation Department officials have closed state Highway 49 near Beulah due to the crash of a semitrailer hauling sulfuric acid. Highway Patrol Lt. Tom Iverson says acid spilled in the ditch about 4 miles south of Beulah. He says it's unknown how much spilled and if there's any environmental damage. The unidentified driver was taken to a Hazen hospital with unknown injuries. No other vehicles were involved, and it's unclear what led to the crash. Iverson says the highway likely will be closed for some time as hazardous material crews clean up the spill.|
|Fire||June 30, 2015||Dartmouth, Nova Scotia||A Halifax fire division commander says the public was not in danger when a fire broke out at the former Imperial Oil refinery in Dartmouth Tuesday night.Chuck Bezanson says crews were called around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to deal with an "elemental sulphur pile" that was burning on the grounds. An elemental sulphur pile is produced as a byproduct of refining oil and natural gas.Bezanson says the sun dried out the pile and it ignited.He says there was no danger to the surrounding neighbourhood.Four fire crews responded to the call and by 9:45 p.m. The fire was extinguished more than an hour later. Imperial Oil closed the Pleasant Street refinery and converted it into a marine terminal in 2013.|
|Exposure||June 20, 2015||Kuala Lumpur||
A Chinese national suffered severe burns all over his body after he was splashed with sulfuric acid, following a tank explosion at a fertiliser factory in Port Klang. Selangor Fire and Rescue Department operations director Mohd Sani Harul said the 40-year-old man was working near the tank which was in operation at the time, at about 4pm Saturday, when it suddenly exploded and spewed acid all over. The man was covered in the corrosive acid from the neck down and suffered severe burns. “Our officers rushed there to clean the acid off him with a water hose. He was half conscious at the time and is in very critical condition,” Mohd Sani said. The man was rushed to the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital. The Fire Department is trying to contact the factory supervisor to ascertain what could have caused the explosion.
|Exposure||June 15, 2015||North Lincolnshire||AN incident at an oil refinery "could have been avoided" had hazards been identified which led to a worker needing skin grafts. The firm in question, Total Lindsey Oil refinery in North Lincolnshire, was fined for the incident involving molten sulphur. Tanker driver Jack Vickers was loading the dangerous substance from his vehicle and was detaching the lance from a loading arm when he slipped. After pulling his leg out of the 140 degree molten sulphur, Mr Vickers needed extensive skin grafts. The Health and Safety Executive told the court that there were no safety practices in place concerning the manway, and potential hazards had not been identified and dealt with. Total Lindsey Oil Refinery, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £2,641 in costs with a victim surcharge of £120. HSE inspector Jayne Towey said: "Mr Vickers sustained extremely painful injuries, which still affect him now. Yet this incident could have been avoided if Total had identified the dangers associated with attaching and detaching the loading lance and then taken action to reduce those risks. "Loading molten sulphur is a common task within the refining industry. Total had two other loading units on site with a different system whereby a loading lance does not have to be attached to the loading arm."|
May 30, 2015
|Maryland City, Maryland||
Hundreds are briefly told to stay indoors after a sulfuric acid leak in Anne Arundel County. It happened around 9 a.m. Saturday in the 3500 block of Whiskey Bottom Road in Maryland City. Police say a hazmat team was called after a 45-foot trailer delivering totes of sulfuric acid leaked.
The leak was contained to the property, authorities said. More than 500 residents were briefly told to shelter-in-place as a precaution. The order was lifted around 10:30 a.m
|May 29, 2015||Port Arthur, Texas|
|May 21, 2015||Modimolle, South Africa||
Police are investigating a case against officials who responded to the
accident scene where a truck carrying sulphuric acid overturned on Saturday,
May 16. The truck carrying 28,000 litres of sulphuric acid was on its
way to Zimbabwe. DA leader for Limpopo, Jacques Smalle claims that the
disaster management units arrived at the scene four hours after the toxic
spill. CCTV footage in the video above shows how disaster management
officials then proceeded to clean up the spill by using water from a fire
department truck to spray the acid into the Nyl River. The DA has laid
criminal charges against the heads of disaster management of the Modimolle
and Waterberg municipalities, and the Waterberg fire chief for not complying
with regulations in section 28 of the National Environment Act of 1998.
The environmental damage to the river has been extensive as locals have been
warned not to drink the water or use it for farming. Fish in the river
have died and the national Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation has
described the pollution as "very serious". The pollution has been
neutralised with a treatment of lime, to reduce the level of acidity, but
further treatment is still needed. Warrant officer James Findlay,
spokesperson for the Modimolle police, said the charges laid are
specifically “failure to comply with directive to cease activity and to
rehabilitate the environment /contravene and fail to comply with conditions
of the authorisation”. Affidavits have not yet been obtained, said
Findlay. “The investigating officer will obtain statements from the
three involved early next week.” Findlay says this is an unusual case
for Modimolle police. “I’ve been here over 20 years and if I’m not
mistaken most of our big truck accidents, like with petrol trucks, happen on
the highway and don’t go into the water,” he said. Smalle told
eNCA.com that they are relieved that the national water affairs department
is dealing with the issue. However, the DA plans to watch the clean-up
process closely. “We will compile a comprehensive analysis report and
present it at the Limpopo legislature so we can monitor ongoing process,”
Modimolle farmers in Limpopo have suspended farming activities after a sulphuric acid spill contaminated the Nyl River last weekend.A truck carrying sulphuric acid overturned in the town and acid spilled into the river. Water Affairs officials are busy with clean-up operations.
The Nyl River is the source of water for farmers in the Modimolle area. Water Affairs officials were busy working where the truck overturned at corner Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela Streets last weekend. They were using wheelbarrows to carry lime to the river to neutralise the acid. The scene was cordoned off. Officials refused to talk about the clean-up operations and referred all enquiries to their National Office. Modimolle farmers are blaming the Waterberg District Municipality for the incident. Local farmer Johan Abrie says they have suspended all ploughing activities. Fish and other water species have died. Abrie alleges that the municipality did not prevent the acid from spilling into the river. "Sulphuric acid spilled onto a tar road, what happened is instead of covering it and building a buffer zone so it cannot enter the river, the municipality, against every law in the book, took hoses to wash down into the Nyl River. That is the most inhumanly possible thing they could have done. So instead of following international regulations and protocol how to treat this thing, the municipality decided to wash it into the river." Waterberg District Municipal Manager, Sam Mabotja says the spill is a Water Affairs matter. The Water Affairs Department could not be reached for comment. Meanwhile, retired Zoologist, Professor Koos Prinsloo, says the sulphuric acid that polluted the Nyl River is a danger to environment and its natural species. He says delays in treating the polluted water will have negative effects on the ecological system. "Sulphuric acid is difficult chemical it comes in contact with water certain reaction start take place. Some very serious toxic substances are formed. It is definitely affecting the plants, it is going to affect millions of macrobiotic in the water that play a very important role in keeping ecological balance."
|Spill||May 20, 2015||
More than 300 gallons of sulphuric acid were spilled in an accident at a power plant in Montgomery County on Wednesday, injuring one worker. County fire and rescue service spokesman Pete Piringer said that the worker was not seriously injured and had been decontaminated after the acid splashed onto him. Piringer said that workers were moving a container of the acid at a loading dock at an energy substation on Martinsburg Road in Dickerson. They accidentally spilled the caustic substance, he said.
|May 11, 2015||
Bijoux Falls Provincial Park
|Eight train cars carrying sulphur derailed near Mackenzie on a railway crossing Highway 97 South at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday night, a Canadian National Rail Co. spokesperson has confirmed.Drive BC has indicated that Highway 97 will be blocked in both directions until further notice near Bijoux Falls Provincial Park.There were no injuries reported and the cause of the derailment is under investigation, CN said.Pierre Boivin, senior manager of stakeholder relations with CN Rail, told the Alaska Highway News Sunday night that the eight cars involved in the derailment were all carrying sulphur."The cars are upright and there are no indications that there is any spill or any environmental impacts," Boivin said.CN crews will work through the night to clear the crossing "as soon as possible," Boivin added, but he did not know how long it would take. "At this point all we know is that Highway 97 is blocked," Boivin explained. "Our crews are en route. As soon as they arrive they are going to work to clear the crossing."It's unclear at this time where the train originated from, or where it was headed.|
|April 20, 2015||Birmingham, Alabama||
About 22 homes were evacuated from a north Birmingham neighborhood while crews moved a semi-truck carrying hazardous material that got stuck around midnight. The semi-truck, which was carrying 3,000 gallons of sulfuric acie, was trying to navigate through a neighborhood when it hit a curve and jackknifed on a narrow street around midnight, according to EMA officials. Police blocked off the area and evacuated people in the Fairmont community on 40th Avenue North near Lewisburg Road, off of Daniel Payne Drive and near Carver High School. Birmingham police told residents that if the sulfuric acid mixed with water, it could possibly blow up. A hazmat crew with Birmingham Fire Department responded to the scene as a precaution. None of the sulfuric acid has spilled from the truck, according to Jody Hodge with the Jefferson County EMA. He says the truck driver is also OK and no one was injured. The truck was turned upright and moved from the area where it got stuck by 8 a.m. Residents who were evacuated say this isn't the first time a semi-truck has been stuck in their neighborhood. “No it's not, it's happened before, we didn't have to be evacuated, they were able to get the truck up, but semis come through here all the time and turn over,” Sophia Holloway said. “We've gone to talk to different people about getting some assistance with stopping these trucks from coming through here. We don't want this to happen. We don't want this neighborhood to blow up because of this type situation,” Holloway added. Holloway explained that the semi-trucks often miss their exit off 41st Avenue and go to Fultondale to turn around, and the GPS routes the trucks through her neighborhood. “Once they turn around, they come through the neighborhoods and there's really no room for them to maneuver in there,” she said. Hodge said he believed the truck driver was trying to get to a truck stop in the area and the GPS took him a roundabout way. He said the driver turned on a narrow street and jackknifed. “Some of these streets are very narrow, have sharp curves, and you know, with an 18-wheeler, it just happened," Hodge said. He said about 10 families chose to not evacuate and shelter in place.
The Red Cross had a shelter on standby, but it was never opened. Police will determine when residents are allowed to return to their homes.
|Spill||March 8, 2015||Krasnodar Territory||
At the Tihoretsk station of the North Caucasus Railway in Krasnodar Territory, sulfuric acid has leaked from a holding tank, the press service of the Ministry of Emergency Measures of the Russian Federation in the region reported. The leak occurred last night about 21:20 Moscow time in the park "B" of Tikhoretsk station, Interfax cites the report.
|March 8, 2015||Salt Lake City, Utah||
Sue Turley and Raquel Sever received a phone call Tuesday they never expected. They learned their sister's husband, Joshua Schade, had been in a terrible accident on the job. "We really don't know exactly what happened at this point," Sever said. Although the investigation is ongoing, they do know some of the details. Their brother-in-law was transporting sulfuric acid for Basin Western Trucking Company to Delta on Tuesday. When he went to unload it, something went horribly wrong. "It poured all the way down his body, from his head all the way down," Turley said. They said first responders took him to a hospital for decontamination, then he was flown to University Hospital's burn center. Schade has already undergone one skin graft surgery with more planned. "They keep reminding (my sister) he's in very critical condition and they don't want to give her the impression that he's definitely going to make it home," Turley said. Turley said Schade began the job only a few weeks ago and was excited because the schedule allowed him to spend more time with his family. Now they're hoping the 29-year-old father will get that time. "We're just trying to be hopeful and have faith that he'll make it," Sever said. "My sister has said so many times she doesn't care what he looks like," added Turley. "She doesn't want him in pain, and she just wants to have her husband." "Everyone is hoping and praying for Josh and his family at this time," said Lloyd Dean, a spokesman for Western Basin Trucking Company. Dean said the company is conducting its own investigation to determine what happened.
|Environmental - Release||February 18, 2015||India||
Days after leakage of sulphur dioxide caused suffocation to workers and people residing in the area, Tamil Nadu Chemical Products Ltd, a factory manufacturing dyeing substance, in Kovilur was today ordered to be closed down by the state pollution control board. Three school children had fainted upon inhaling sulphur dioxide from the factory on February 12. The leak also caused suffocation to factory workers and people living around. On inspection of the 35-year-old factory, officials of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board found that main units had not been maintained properly leading to the gas leakage. The chairman of the board ordered closure of the factory, the officials said.
|February 10, 2015||Corpus Christi||
Crews were busy cleaning up a sulfur pellet spill Tuesday morning. It happened in the area of Suntide and Up River Road. A private contractor was taking prilled sulfur from the Flint Hills West Plant to the bulk terminal, when a portion of the load spilled from the truck onto the roadway. According to a spokeswoman from Flint Hills, clean-up crews were called in to sweep up the material. Because the sulphur was in pellet form, it was not hazardous and no streets had to be closed. The chemical is commonly stored outdoors and is used in fertilizer.
|February 8, 2015||
PEOPLE who depend on Chililabombwe’s Lubengele stream for water have been left stranded after a tanker delivering sulphuric acid to KCM overturned on Friday, spilling its contents into the stream. Chililabombwe Municipal Council health inspectors confirmed the development. “Lubengele Stream is important because many families get their water from there. This is a serious threat and something must be done before the whole stream is contaminated,” the officers warned. The inspectors said Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company obtained water samples to determine the amount of acid in the stream. They said immediate measures had been put in place to stop the spillage but that the council and Mulonga Water would carry out further investigations. And Abrahman Yessus, the owner of the tanker, explained that the driver failed to control the vehicle which fell on the road, causing the spillage. “Around 06:00 hours, I received a call that my tanker carrying sulphuric acid for delivery at KCM had an accident. What happened was that the driver lost control because he was going uphill and the tanker fell on the road. There are no injuries and with the help of KCM, we have managed to control the sulphuric acid by putting lime,” said Yessus.
|Transportation||January 31, 2015||
Richmond Hill, Ontario
A train derailment in Richmond Hill has closed Elgin Mills East Road between Yonge Street and Newkirk Road. Two cars on a southbound CN Rail train partially derailed at around noon on Saturday according to CN and York Regional Police. One was carrying steel, the other was carrying sulphuric acid. No one was injured and no material leaked, officials said. The cause is under investigation.
|January 24, 2015||New Zealand||
A truck has spilled 500 litres of toxic acid near Feilding today. The truck lost its load of sulfuric acid on Awahuri-Feilding road about 12.15pm, and roadblocks were put up while the chemical was cleared. Greg Bevin, Horizons team leader consent monitoring, said the acid was at 70 per cent concentration. It was contained in a dry roadside drain and there was no threat to waterways or public safety, he said. A Horizon's environmental protection officer was assisting the Fire Service.
|January 21, 2015||Tennessee, USA||
A tanker carrying 48,000 gallons of sulfuric acid overturned on Interstate 24 near mile marker 23 on the eastbound side, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The accident happened at about 11 a.m. on Wednesday. One eastbound lane has been reopened, according to dispatch. Westbound traffic remains unaffected. The Tennessee Department of Transportation doesn't expect the wreck to be cleared until 5 p.m. The driver has been identified as Calvin L. Morgan, 67, of Turtletown. He was injured in the wreck, but was not taken to the hospital, according to the preliminary THP report. Morgan was driving eastbound on I-24 when his truck's left front tire exited the roadway into the median. He overcorrected and lost control of the vehicle. The trailer disconnected from the truck and came to rest in the median. The truck crossed both lanes of eastbound traffic and crashed into several trees along the right shoulder, according to the report. Hazmat crews were dispatched to the scene when the call came in, dispatch confirmed. None of the acid was spilled in the accident, according to THP. Morgan was charged with having an expired medical card and other charges are pending, authorities say.