Acid Accidents, Leaks & Spills

Title: Worker Sprayed With Acid
Date: August 10, 2012

Abstract: A man suffered acid burns to his face and torso at the Synlait milk powder factory near Dunsandel yesterday.

St John was alerted at 11.21am and the Westpac rescue helicopter flew the 49-year-old man to Christchurch Hospital, where he was treated and discharged.

Synlait manufacturing manager Neil Betteridge said the man, an electrical contractor, was working in the waste-treatment factory beside the milk powder factory when the accident happened.

He had unknowingly leant on a pipe containing sulphuric acid to work on an instrument beside it when the pipe burst, spraying him with acid.

Betteridge said the man went into a safety shower immediately, which minimised the burn injuries.

He was recovering at home and was likely to return to work in the next few day.

Betteridge said the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment was investigating.

The factory had just clocked 500 days injury-free.

''This is a little bit abnormal for us,'' he said (, 2012).

Title: Chemical Plant Explosions In Japan Kill One, May Cripple Global Diaper Output
Date: September 29, 2012
NBC News

Abstract: Explosions at a chemical plant in Hyogo Prefecture on Saturday 
killed a firefighter and injured dozens of people, the Japan Times reported, citing local fire department and police officials said. Global production of diapers could be affected because the plant made a key ingredient in a resin used in them, Japanese media reported.

A fire broke out about 2 p.m. after an abnormal chemical reaction at Nippon Shokubai Co.'s plant in Himeji, the Japan Times said.

The first explosion occurred about 2:40 p.m. as firefighters were spraying an acrylic acid tank with water, and the second followed shortly afterward, the Times said, citing Nippon Shokubai. The blasts set ablaze a fire engine.

A 28-year-old firefighter was killed and at least 30 people were reported injured.

Nippon Shokubai is one of the world's biggest makers of acrylic acid, the main ingredient of a resin called SAP, which is used in diapers.

The plant produces about 20 percent of the world's SAP and 10 percent of global output of acrylic acid.

Operations at the plant are likely to be halted for a long time and other makers of SAP resins are operating on a full-production footing, leaving little room for back-up production, the Nikkei business daily said on Sunday (NBC News, 2012).

Title: Hazmat Crews Respond To Acid Spill At AB Tech
Date: October 6, 2012
Fox Carolina

Abstract: Emergency crews responded to Asheville-Buncombe Technical College's west campus Friday for a hazmat situation, according to Terry Gentry with Buncombe County Emergency Management.

About 5:30 p.m. there was a sulfuric acid spill in a lab at the campus on Sand Hill Road, dispatchers said.

No one was hurt, and the spill has been cleaned up (Fox Carolina, 2012).

Title: Thousands Threatened After Toxic Gas Leak In South Korea: Reports
Date: October 7, 2012

Abstract: More than 3,000 South Koreans near the southeastern city of Gumi have received medical treatment as the damage from a major toxic chemical leak continues to grow, media reports said Sunday.

An explosion at the factory of chemical maker Hube Global on September 27, which killed five people, led to the leak of hydrofluoric acid which has affected crops, livestock and villagers near the plant.

Nearly 3,200 people have so far been treated for nausea, chest pain, rashes, sore eyes or sore throats after apparently inhaling toxic fumes, Yonhap news agency said, citing data from the city government.

The explosion and leak affected nearly 80 firms, some of which were forced to shut plants. The esimated damage has increased to 17.7 billion won ($15.9 million) from 9.4 billion won previously reported, Yonhap and other media reports said.

The leak also damaged 212 hectares (524 acres) of farmland and affected 3,200 livestock, which showed symptoms similar to a cold.

About 300 villagers at Bongsan-ri and Imcheon-ri near the plant have been evacuated to temporary shelters after complaining of health risks, with some reporting blood in their saliva.

"We decided to move because the government overlooked us and did not come up with countermeasures," Park Myeong-Seok, the head of Bongsang-ri, was quoted by Yonhap as saying.

Some 1,200 residents remain in the villages where an acrid smell still hangs in the air and crops and trees have withered, Yonhap said.

A team of 26 government officials and experts is expected to announce on Monday the result of their three-day investigation (Breitbart, 2012).

Title: Acid Thrown With Garbage, Man Burnt
October 8, 2012
Indian Express

A 44-year-old man suffered burn injuries from acid, which fell on him when someone threw out garbage from a multi-storey apartment building, in Gurgaon on Sunday.

The security guard at the apartment complex said Ibrahim worked as a sweeper in the area.

Ibrahim’s family claimed he was rushed to a hospital after he was injured, but was denied treatment as they could not pay for it. Ibrahim’s children reportedly put him on a cart and begged on the streets to collect money for treatment.

Ibrahim, who came to the city from UP, suffered injuries on his face, hands and legs. He lived with his family in a rented accommodation in Dhani, Wazirabad village (Indian Express, 2012).

Title: South Korea Acid Spill Now Threatens Waterways, Government Declares Disaster Zone After 3,200 Injured
October 9, 2012
Ooska News

he South Korean government’s delayed response in dealing with the large hydrochloric acid spill that occurred on September 27 has allowed the toxic material to reach local streams, and threatens to contaminate the Nakdong River, according to environmental experts.

The leak came from hydrochloric acid manufacturer Hube Global at the Gumi National Industrial Complex in the city of Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, which is located in close proximity to both residential and agricultural areas.

Jung Soo-gun, director of Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM), was quoted in local news reports on October 8 as saying the government’s tardy response and improper containment activities, which involved using water to remove the gas from the atmosphere, have caused the acid to spread to streams, crops and homes.

It would have been better to treat the immediate release with lime, he said, adding that there are now fears that rain could cause the contaminated waters to reach the Nakdong River, which is the city’s main source of drinking and irrigation water as well as one of the rivers rehabilitated in the government’s controversial Four Major Rivers Project.

If the toxic spill does reach the river, the government will face more severe obstacles to cleanup, Jung added.

The Korean Ministry of Environment released a statement over the weekend saying the city’s air and water supply were stable, and that a task force had been created to handle the situation. It said no acid has been detected in residential areas or locations within 5 kilometers of the factory since the day after the spill.

However, the government declared the region a disaster zone on October 8, only the fourth time in the country’s history such a declaration has been made.

KFEM has demanded that Gumi and Hube Global disclose the cause of the spill and the reason why the industrial complex’s safety system, which is managed by the city, the government and the state-run Korea Water Resources Corp (K-Water), was not able to contain it.

The organization suggested that the system was inadequate, and the location of the factory highly unsuitable due to the proximity of residential and agricultural areas.

The city of Daegu, also in Gyeongsang Province, is scheduled to host the 7th World Water Forum in 2015.

Five factory workers were killed in the initial incident, in what some reports claimed was an explosion, and 18 more were injured. Nearly 3,200 people have received emergency treatment for symptoms related to contact with the acid.

More than 212 hectares of farmland have withered, and some 3,200 livestock animals are showing signs of poisoning (Ooska News, 2012).

Title: Mount Kisco Road Closed For Acid Spill
October 10, 2012
Mt. Kisco Daily Voice

An acid spill closed Preston Way for several hours Wednesday afternoon, according to Mount Kisco fire officials.

Mount Kisco police received a report around noon that a liquid had spilled on the side of the road near the Target and A&P shopping plaza and appeared to be creating steam, officials said. Firefighters were called to the scene. 

"When we got there we found a container that was on the ground with some liquid that was just blowing off steam ... but there wasn't any smoke," a member of the Mount Kisco Independent Fire Company said. 

Mount Kisco firefighters and the Westchester County Hazardous Materials Response Team contained the spill. At around 2:30 p.m., the Hazmat team determined the situation was safe, and the road was reopened (Mt. Kisco Daily Voice, 2012).

Title: Acid Spill Forces Evacuation Of BU lab
October 15, 2012

Abstract: A man was injured this afternoon in an acid spill in a Boston University laboratory, the Boston Fire Department said.

Emergency crews responded just after 4 p.m. to 24 Cummington St., BU’s Life Sciences & Engineering Building, the fire department said in an official tweet. The building was evacuated.

Trichloroacetic acid had spilled on a research assistant in an eighth-floor lab. The man had already self-decontaminated using a “lab deluge shower,” the fire department said.

The man was taken to the hospital for further evaluation (, 2012).

Title: Acid Spill Sends Spokane Students Home For Day
October 16, 2012
Seattle Times

Spokane fire officials say a hydrochloric acid spill in a stairwell sent students and staff members home early on Tuesday from a Spokane high school.

Spokane fire officials say a hydrochloric acid spill in a stairwell sent students and staff members home early on Tuesday from a Spokane high school.

A fire department hazmat crew responded and cleaned up the mess at Lewis and Clark High School.

The Spokesman-Review reports ( that a student science assistant was transporting the jug of the poisonous, corrosive acid when the spill occurred.

Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said the spill was likely inadvertent and there was no threat to students. There were no reported injuries or damage to the school.

The school was evacuated just after noon. Classes will resume Wednesday morning (Seattle Times, 2012).

Title: Acid Spill Pollutes Avarampalayam
October 20, 2012
The Hindu

Formic acid spill in Avarampalayam on Friday afternoon troubled the area residents and also road users. Fire and Rescue Services Department had to rush two tenders to clean the area and contain the damage.

According to the Coimbatore City Police, in the spill that happened around noon, the acid that was stored in a 50-litre can spilled when the mini lorry carrying the can and 99 others of the same capacity moved over the speed breaker at the Avarampalayam railway crossing.

Fumes from the can quickly spread, triggering irritation in the eyes, difficulty in breathing and vomiting among residents and road users. Road users said they could not drive through the Avarampalayam Pirivu stretch of the Sathyamangalam Road as the irritation in the eyes left them with watery eyes.

A passerby said that many motorists stopped their vehicles alongside the road to vomit. The acid comes with a pungent, penetrative odour.

Soon after the acid spill information reached their ears, the Fire and Rescue Services Department rushed the first tender from the Ganapathy Fire Station and the second from the Coimbatore South. Divisional Fire Officer N. Subramanian said that the rescue personnel at the tenders spread sand and then washed the affected area with water.

The operation took around 40 minutes.

Avarampalayam resident J.R. Selvakumar said that for the 30 minutes the acid fumes invaded the area, the residents had a horrible time.

Those in the vicinity could not open their eyes as the irritation was beyond explanation. Many elderly residents also experienced breathing difficulties.

He said the worst part was that they could experience the pungency and irritation but could not identify the smoke or fumes. A few residents panicked and rushed out of their homes.

The city police said that the lorry carrying 5,000 litres acid was on its way from a chemicals company in Ganapathy to Udumalpet to be used as a cleaning agent in a poultry there.

The police also said that the Ganapathy company had bought the acid from a manufacturing unit in Ranipet, Vellore.

The acid spill affected traffic flow in the area (The Hindu, 2012).

Title: Small Acid Leak At Sun Chemical Contained Quickly, Endangered None
October 24, 2012
Michigan Live

Emergency officials say no one was endangered by a minor, quickly controlled spill of liquid hydrochloric acid late Tuesday at Sun Chemical’s plant on Evanston Avenue.

According to Egelston Township Fire Department officials, approximately 10 gallons of the acid spilled inside the company’s diked area around 10:30 p.m. Sun’s safety workers called local emergency authorities and contained and cleaned up the spill before outside agencies arrived.

The entire incident was confined to Sun property and did not endanger neighbors, Muskegon County Emergency Services Director Dan Stout said.

Egelston Township firefighters and the county’s Hazardous Materials team responded to the call and stood by before clearing the scene.

Sun Chemical was the site of a Sept. 3 leak of anhydrous ammonia vapor that lasted for six hours. In that incident, which also injured no one, a chiller unit released some 1,400 pounds of anhydrous ammonia into the air at the pigment plant. Local emergency officials criticized the company for failure to call 911, a violation of federal law. The company said new staffers misunderstood the reporting requirements (Michigan Live, 2012).

Title: Cloud From Hydrochloric Acid Forces Texas City Residents To Stay Indoors
October 25, 2012

A toxic cloud that formed after 300 gallons of hydrochloric acid leaked at a southeast Texas storage facility sent nine people to hospitals and forced thousands of residents indoors, an emergency management official said Thursday.

Four firefighters were among those who were hospitalized for exposure after a tank ruptured at a storage facility near the Port of Texas City, Bruce Clawson of the local emergency management office said.

More than 45,000 residents of Texas City were ordered by emergency management officials to remain indoors, turn off air conditioning units and make sure all windows and doors were closed until the vapor cloud dissipated.

The order was expected to be lifted by 6 a.m. (7 a.m. ET), Clawson said.

Officials did not immediately detail what caused the tank to rupture late Wednesday at the Dallas Group of America's facility near the port. A telephone call by CNN to the New Jersey-based company early Thursday morning was not immediately returned.

City officials were working to clean up the leak, Clawson told CNN affiliate KTRK.

None of those exposed to the chemical cloud sustained life-threatening injuries, according to KTRK.

It wasn't immediately known what the chemical was being used for at the facility. Hydrochloric acid has a number of industrial uses. It also has a corrosive effect on human tissue, with the potential to damage the lungs, eyes, skin, and intestines.

It is not the first time the residents of Texas City have dealt with a threat from a chemical leak.

In March, an acid leak was reported at BP's refinery in the port city. And last year, several dozen homes were evacuated when 250,000 gallons of gasoline spilled following a pipeline rupture (CNN, 2012).

Title: Worker Burned By Acid At City Pool
October 25, 2012

A Corona city employee suffered a minor acid burn on his arm Thursday, Oct. 25, when he was exposed to a chemical used to clean pools.

Employees were repairing pipes in the building next to the pool at City Park at Grand Boulevard and Quarry Street about noon when one worker accidentally stepped on and cracked a pipe containing hydrochloric acid, said Lynn Mata, the Corona Fire Department's emergency services coordinator.

The Fire Department dispatched its hazardous-materials team and two other engines, for a total of 12 firefighters. They set up decontamination pools, suited up and entered the building. They found that the acid, a liquid, had flowed into a building drain and into the sewer system.

Mata said that Riverside County health officials on the scene said the spill posed no threat to the public.

A nearby YMCA kept children inside and shut its windows as a precaution. When the area was judged safe, the YMCA called parents to pick up their children, Mata said.

Firefighters were still on the scene past 3 p.m., awaiting a private contractor to clean up what remained of the spill (, 2012).

Title: 9 Hurt In Texas City Hydrochloric Acid Leak, Thousands Forced To Stay Indoors
October 25, 2012
Medical Daily

Nine people were sent to the hospital after a toxic cloud formed from the 300 gallons of hydrochloric acid that had leaked from a Southeast Texas storage facility, according to officials who issued a lockdown Wednesday night for all Texas City residents.

Local emergency authorities lifted the shelter-in-place order just shortly after 5 a.m. Thursday after workers cleaned up most of the hydrochloric acid spill and residents are no longer required to stay indoors, according to the Associated Press.

The toxic cloud that formed across the city after a tank rupture Tuesday night at the Dallas Group of America's plant located along the coast of Galveston Bay, according to KFDA.

More than 45,000 locals in Texas City were ordered by emergency management officials to stay indoors, turn off all air conditioning units and ensure that all windows and doors were closed until the vapor cloud dissolved.

Officials at the Texas Emergency Management Office say that nine people have been hurt in the chemical leak, including four firefighters and four plant workers, according to AP. 

Diane Tracy with New Jersey-based Dallas Group of America Inc. told AP that company officials are investigating the accident. Tracy also said that all nine of the victims hurt in the chemical leak accident had been treated and released from hospital care.

None of those exposed to the chemical cloud had life-threatening injuries, according to KTRK.

Hydrochloric acid is a commonly used industrial chemical that has a corrosive effect on human tissue and can potentially seriously damage the lungs, eyes, skin and intestines.

The latest incident is not the first time Texas City residents have dealt with a chemical leak threat. An acid leak was reported at BP's refinery in the port city in March, and last year several dozen homes were evacuated when 250,000 gallons of gasoline spilled after a pipeline rupture (Medical Daily, 2012).

Title: Swimming Pool Acid Cloud Causes Scare In Mill Valley
October 26, 2012
Marin IJ

A Mill Valley neighborhood was shut down for more than an hour Friday morning after a swimming pool project sent a cloud of vapor into the air, authorities said.

The vapor was a by-product of muriatic acid, a fluid used to clean swimming pools, said Mill Valley fire Battalion Chief Scott Barnes, who discovered the cloud above a Lomita Drive home at about 8:40 a.m. The large, gray vapor cloud initially looked like smoke from a structure fire, Barnes said.

"The contractor claimed he'd never experienced something like this before," he said. "I immediately told them to shut their operation down."

Firefighters and police officers closed the street and advised residents of some 75 to 85 homes to stay inside because of the potential harm caused by inhaling the vapor, Barnes said. The contractor was also ordered to divert liquid containing muriatic acid from a storm drain.

The street was reopened shortly before 10 a.m. after the cloud dispersed, the Marin County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Firefighters notified the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin and the California Emergency Management Agency of the incident, and the contractor was allowed to dispose of the liquid after neutralizing the acid with soda ash.

Todd Hendrickson, whose custom pool company Aquascape oversaw the project, said residents were not actually at risk because the acid was highly diluted.

"It's definitely not hazardous in the condition that it was in," he said. "Sniffing it right out of bottle, it would feel like it was burning your lungs."

Muriatic acid is commonly used to treat the surface of new pools or to adjust pH balance, he said. Typically the vapors disperse immediately but the lack of wind on Friday cause them to linger for much longer than usual.

"It happens in people's backyards every day all around the United States," he said of the use of muriatic acid (Marin IJ, 2012).

Title: Cops Fall Ill After Acid Spill In Car At Tarragindi
October 31, 2012
Herald Sun

It is believed two police officers were transporting hydrochloric acid and caffeine along Esher Street about 3am when some of the chemical spilt in the back of the car.

Police they reported feeling ill from the chemical’s odour, which in large doses can create a burning, choking sensation.

It is believed the chemical was being used in the production of drugs.

Fire crews finished the cleanup on Wednesday morning (Herald Sun, 2012).

Title: Workers Evacuated After Acid Leak In Indianapolis
November 1, 2012

Authorities say workers were evacuated from a Rolls-Royce facility in Indianapolis because of an acid spill.

No injuries were reported among the 12 workers who were at the facility on the city's west side near Indianapolis International Airport early Thursday.

Wayne Township fire Lt. Troy Wymer tells WTHR-TV that a valve failed, causing three types of acid to mix in an aluminum drum and then eat through the drum. He says a hazardous materials team was able to contain and neutralized the spill.

Rolls-Royce has research facilities and an aircraft engine factory in Indianapolis (WSBT News, 2012).

Title: Van Carrying 75 Car Batteries Overturns On 95 Near SR100, Spilling Acid And Causing Delays
November 1, 2012
Flagger Live

A van transporting some 75 vehicle batteries and traveling north on I-95, just north of State Road 100 in Palm Coast, lost control from a tire blow-out and overturned into the southbound lanes, spilling batteries, acid and candy.

The driver, Arthur Richards, 61, of Sanford, was flown to Halifax hospital with traumatic injuries to the chest.

One lane on I-95 was closed after 8 a.m. and remains closed as a team from the state Department of Environmental Protection was due to assess what’s been categorized as a hazardous spill. The closure caused a back-up of about a mile. The lane was re-opened at 10 a.m. for an hour, but was closed again at 11 a.m. for crew members’ safety.

Richards was traveling north on the outside lane at around 7:45 a.m. He was not speeding, nor was he attempting a lane change, a Florida Highway Patrol investigator at the scene said. A witness saw a rear-right tire lose its tread, at which point the van began to spin counter clockwise. Reynolds could not control it. The van then slammed against the center guardrail and tipped over it. The 75 batteries weighed down the van with an additional 2,000 pounds or so. The van ended up on its roof, facing southwest, and straddling the emergency and inside lanes.

A gash punctured the van in its rear, where the vehicle had struck the guard rail. Numerous batteries spilled out of the van–and spilled their acid–as did a quantity of candy (it is the morning after Halloween) and paperwork.

Flagler County Fire Rescue personnel at the scene warned of battery acid and fumes extending several yards from the scene of the crash. Personnel from John’s Towing towed the van and picked up all the batteries, but it was going to be left up to DEP officials and a clean-up crew from Deka Batteries to complete the clean-up, the FHP investigator said.

There was no danger to passing traffic on either side of the highway, but because acid had spilled, the materials could not be hosed down or simply swept off, as would normally be the case at a crash scene. The materials had spilled on pavement and in the grass, near a drain, raising questions about whether the acid could corrode the pavement or end up in the water system.

The wreck took place near mile marker 284. Flagler County Fire Flight, the county’s fire and rescue helicopter, landed at the weigh station a distance north to collect Richards (and avoid closing down the highway). The Palm Coast Fire Department, Flagler County Fire Rescue, the Palm Coast Fire Police and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene, as did unites of the Florida Highway Patrol (Flagger Live, 2012).