Baltimore acid spill prompts shelter in place order

Produced a ``vapour cloud'' that has since dissipated.

September 18, 2017   by ASSOCIATED PRESS

BALTIMORE — Residents living within one mile (1.5 kilometres) of a chemical plant in Baltimore were told to stay indoors for about an hour and a half Sept. 18 after an acid spill caused a noxious cloud.

Fire department spokesman Chief Roman Clark said the spill occurred about 10:45 a.m. at the Solvay Industries plant in South Baltimore when crews were transferring chlorosulfonic acid from a tanker to a trailer.

Clark said the spill produced a “vapour cloud” that has since dissipated. There were no reported injuries, and only a small part of the plant was evacuated; all other employees were told to shelter in place.

Hazmat crews were dispatched to the scene, and although the spill had been placed under control by early afternoon on Monday, residents were urged to shelter in place for another hour.

Cellphone alerts were sent to residents within the affected area, including an alert about 2 p.m. telling residents it was safe to leave their homes.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says on its website that chlorosulfonic acid can cause a sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and a burning sensation if inhaled.

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