Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2009 09:15:38 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: 4 Chemical Safety Stories found by Google

Lafayette, Indiana

November 25, 2009

UPDATE: YWCA to remain closed after pool chemical reaction

By CURT SLYDER cslyder**At_Symbol_Here**

The YWCA of Greater Lafayette was evacuated this morning following a chemical reaction in its saltwater pool.

According to the president of the YWCA's board of directors, the building will remain closed today while workers clear the fumes.

According to Mike Hieatt, Lafayette Fire Department assistant chief, emergency crews were called to the building at 605 N. Sixth St. around 7:40 a.m.

"One of the workers here accidentally dumped a gallon of chlorine into some bisulfate," Hieatt said. Both chemicals are used to balance the pool, but not together, he said.

The resulting chemical reaction let off some fumes that forced workers to evacuate the building. It was already evacuated by the time emergency crews arrived, Hieatt said.

Nobody was injured.

Sean O'Neal is a fitness instructor at the YWCA. He said a worker dumped the chlorine into the wrong tank.

Several people there for a morning water aerobics class and a few other swimmers inside were evacuated safely, O'Neal said.

"When I first walked back there my eyes started watering," O'Neal said. "It was pretty heavy when I got back there."

Grayce Lechtenberg, the YWCA board's president, praised the building staff for quickly dealing with the problem.

"We were extremely fortunate, because no one was injured and no one needed medical treatment," Lechtenberg said. "For the health and safety of our members, we will remain closed today."

However, the YWCA's other buildings - a women's shelter at an undisclosed location and the building across the street from the main building - will remain open, Lechtenberg said.

The building across the street houses the office of the women's cancer program and the domestic violence intervention staff, Lechtenberg said.

It will be the pool's last gasp. The YWCA's board of directors voted in October to close the pool and fitness facilities at the end of this month due to declining membership.

The building was scheduled to close for the Thanksgiving break Thursday through Sunday. Though the building was to reopen Monday, the pool and fitness facilities were to remain closed.

"It's a horrible ending for the pool," Lechtenberg said. "I'm very sad for all the clients who were looking forward to their last go around."

http :// -closed-after-pool-chemical-reaction?template=printart Page 2 of 2


Tonawanda, NY

CITY OF TONAWANDA: Chemical fire guts building

By Daniel Pye

The Tonawanda News

A fire early Wednesday morning did severe damage to a Wales Avenue business.

At around 1:30 a.m. a City of Tonawanda police officer noticed smoke and flames coming from The Environmental Service Group=92s building during a nightly check of the area, said Fire Chief Charles Stuart.

=93When we got inside there was a lot of heat, a lot of fire,=94 Stuart said.

The warehouse where the fire started stores various types of hazardous waste, and firefighters had to force their way into the structure. As crews began spraying water into a Dumpster they believe to have been the source of the blaze, it exploded. 

=93It knocked some guys down and sprayed molten metal through the general area,=94 Stuart said.

The chief suspects a mixture of magnesium oxide and other chemicals inside the Dumpster caused the reaction, but no one was injured in the explosion. Once the fire was put out, the Department of Public Works pulled the Dumpster out of the building because the metals were continuing to react with the water inside.

A HazMat team from the Town of Tonawanda also responded due to the nature of the facility, and firefighters informed the Department of Environmental Conservation as a precaution in case there was any hazardous runoff.

Stuart said the main body of the fire was contained quickly, but since it had spread to the roof the operation took several hours to properly contain and extinguish it. He said $200,000 is an early estimate of the damage, adding that it could grow after further inspection. The cause of the blaze is still undetermined.

=93It=92s under investigation at this time, but it will be expensive,=94 Stuart said.

Contact reporter Daniel Pye at 693-1000, ext. 158.


Update: Providence haz-mat blaze extinguished
10:22 AM Tue, Nov 24, 2009 | Permalink

Kate Bramson    Email

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A fire involving hazardous materials on Allens Avenue has been brought under control, according to the Providence Fire Department.

Two dozen fire vehicles responded to the report of a fire in a large waste container in a building at 275 Allens Ave., which houses Phillips Service Industries Inc., a hazardous waste removal company.

A flash fire started when the container was being loaded around 8 a.m., Fire Battalion Chief Alan Horton said from the scene Tuesday morning.

Some kind of hazardous materials were in the container, Capt. Kevin Gomes said earlier Tuesday morning.

By the time firefighters arrived, the building's internal sprinkler system had extinguished the fire, Horton said.

The Fire Department shut off the sprinkler to eliminate waste runoff, he said. Tests showed no chemicals in the air or water,

There's no danger to people in the area, Horton said.

Fire crews, which had been at the scene since shortly after 8 a.m., left around 9:40 a.m.

The state Department of Environmental Management also went to the scene.

A little more than a year ago, Providence fire crews responded to the Allens Avenue facility when workers mixed two types of acids together that caused a chemical cloud inside the building. No one was injured at that time.

The original version of this story was published at 9:04 a.m. and updated at 9:25 a.m. and 9:44 a.m.


Officials consider plant drill a success
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 9:07 AM CST

FOREST =97 Local emergency officials recently conducted an annual disaster drill at one of the area industrial plants and results released in a debriefing session showed that the drill was successful.

The drill, planned and executed by the Scott County Local Emergency Planning Committee, simulated a hazardous chemical situation and a fire at Tyson=92s facility in Forest. It was also an opportunity for the Forest Fire Department to test its new ladder fire truck during a near-real life situation.

=93Overall, I think everything went really well,=94 Fire Chief Jason Tillman, who also serves as chairman of the committee, said. =93It gave us a good opportunity to see what we might run into if the situation had been real. Our personnel responded really well.=94

The drill was held on November 3 at approximately 5 p.m. when emergency officials in Forest, Morton and Scott County were =93alerted=94 to an emergency evacuation of Tyson=92s plant. Only supervisors and key local officials knew that the scenario was a drill and not real so reactions by plant and emergency employees could be accurately evaluated.

According to a simulated press release issued by company officials, the drill characterized an explosion and fire that happened in a maintenance shop, causing a leak in the facility=92s ammonia and refrigeration system. Tyson=92s hazardous materials team suited up in response to the situation as part of the drill.

The drill also included =93victims=94 meaning Tyson employees that simulated injured persons and one fatality. Meanwhile, the drill also included persons =93trapped=94 on the roof. During the drill, Tyson Public Information Officer Marilyn Seymore handled media relations in having a staging area set up at the main gate and producing press statements at regular intervals.

In the past, the drill had been conducted earlier in the year when there was more daylight available. This time, darkness fell quickly during the drill, but officials said it gave them a chance to understand better what conditions might be like at night.

During a debriefing session held November 6, emergency personnel reviewed the drill with state emergency officials who also attended the drill and provided an evaluation.

=93We saw some points to address such as communication between plant and incident command officials but overall it was a great exercise,=94 Tillman said. =93Tyson Foods, as has always been the case in the past, showed that they are a responsible corporate citizen of the City of Forest who is not only concerned with the safety of their personnel but with the safety of the citizens of Forest as well.=94

Plant Safety Manager Alan Henderson said he too was pleased with the drill and agreed with the assessment of its success.

=93I was impressed with how well things worked,=94 Henderson said. =93It was so good to see how everyone worked together. We learned so much in the past two days,=94 Henderson said.

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.