Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 08:02:13 -0500
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Subject: 6 Chemical Safety stories from Google

United Kingdom iverpool-news/regional-news/2009/12/10/two-students-injured-in-explosion-i n-university-of-liverpool-s-chemistry-department-92534-25361469/

Two students injured in explosion in University of Liverpool=92s chemistry department
Dec 10 2009

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TWO students were treated for injuries after a laboratory explosion at the University of Liverpool.

Three people were conducting an experiment in the chemistry department, on Crown Street, Liverpool city centre, at around midday yesterday when the explosion occurred.

A man and a woman, both aged around 25, suffered lacerations to their faces and upper bodies caused by flying shards of glass and flash burns. A third student who was standing nearby was unharmed.

The group were carrying out a distillation experiment in a fume cabinet in a corner of the laboratory.

It is believed three chemicals reacted together in a ceramic oil burner. tolypridine n-oxide, a form of sulphate and perchloric - using a ceramic oil burner. It caused a large blast which sent the two students reeling and caused three windows in the first floor laboratory to be blown out.

The victims=92 burns were described as "fairly extensive" and the students were taken by ambulance to the Royal Liverpool hospital.

A supervising professor is understood to have been in the laboratory or near the room. Early indications suggest it was not an underhand or "rogue" experiment, as the steps appeared to have been logged in a book.

The quantity of chemicals used is understood to be small, although the major component was ethanol.

The Health Protection Agency was informed and confirmed there was no wider risk from the blast.

Professor Andrew Hodgson, of the chemistry department, said: "Two students were hurt and taken to hospital, but they=92re going to be all right."


Topeka, Kansas ory/Hazmat-Called-for-Chemical-Concern/8m1fMIc_WUmgsb5HYIWnYg.cspxHazmat Called for Chemical Concern

Last Update: 12/09 10:44 pm

Hazmat Called for Chemical Concern

A mix-up in chemicals forced the evacuation of a Topeka business Wednesday afternoon.

The fire department was called out to Ameripride just after 1 about a possible chemical spill.

Crews arrived and found no spill, rather, two different chemicals that shouldn't have been mixed together had been and that caused a chemical reaction.

3 or 4 people were taken to the hospital with respitory problems but have since been treated and released.

The building was evacuated, so crews could get the problem taken care of.

West Virginia


Chlorine vapors sicken nine people, including children at Ohio County hotel

Emergency crews were called to a hotel under renovation for the second time within the past few days.
By Keri Brown

December 11, 2009 =B7 A family and their children were rushed to local hospitals Wednesday night after being exposed to strong chlorine vapors from the pool and hot tub area at the Comfort Inn hotel near Wheeling.
This is the second time within a few days that emergency crews have responded to calls for chemical leaks at the Comfort Inn off of Dallas Pike near Wheeling.


On Sunday, three people were treated at area hospitals for carbon monoxide poisoning after a construction worker allegedly left a torpedo heater running. The hotel currently is undergoing renovations.


Then around 9:00 p.m. Wednesday night, firefighters responded to a call for a chlorine leak. According to EMS Director for the Valley Grove Volunteer Fire Department, Fred Misenhelder, the incident occurred when a family from Cleveland, staying at the hotel, tried to use the hot tub.


=93Both the pool and the hot tub had been treated or chlorinated lets say earlier in the day. This was the information we got from hotel management but nobody had used the area and I guess when the family came in that was involved in the incident, when they raised the cover off of the hot tub, all the vapors that were being held in by the cover of course escaped and they were right there,=94 said Misenhelder.


Misenhelder said shortly after, one of the children began vomiting. Other family members experienced shortness of breath and burning of the eyes and nose.


According to Misenhelder, nine people, including a 3-year-old and 5-year-old were treated at local hospitals and are expected to be OK.


Emergency crews were able to contain the chlorine vapors by closing off the pool area. No one staying at the hotel was evacuated.


A hazmat team was also called to the scene.

Kansas City news/north-kansas-city/fire-department-first-responders-to-acid-spill.html

Fire department first responders to acid spill
News - North Kansas City
THURSDAY, 10 DECEMBER 2009 00:01
Accidental spill on Paseo Bridge tests fire and police readiness, training

A tanker truck accident that spilled hundreds of gallons of hydrochloric acid in Kansas City last week tested the response ability of the North Kansas City fire and police departments.

Fire Chief Dave Williams said North Kansas City firefighters were first on the scene of the accident that involved only the truck hauling the acid.

The accident happened at approximately 7:15 a.m. on Nov. 30 in the northbound ramp of the Paseo Bridge near Interstate 35 and Front Street in Kansas City. The leak began soon after but had slowed by approximately 9:30 a.m. Lanes of the interstate remained closed for most of the day.

Williams said because of early morning traffic and blocked southbound lanes Kansas City response services could not reach the accident quickly so North Kansas City was called to respond. North Kansas City firefighters pulled the driver from the truck and the department=92s ambulance transported him to the hospital.

According to a press release from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, who also responded to the accident, the tanker was carrying an estimated 45,000 pounds of hydrochloric acid and the wreck caused a loss of approximately 500 gallons of the hazardous chemical onto the roadway.

Kansas City=92s Isle of Capri Casino, 1800 E. Front St., was locked down during the incident because of its close proximity to the spill and the hazardous cloud of chemicals it released into the air. Williams said North Kansas City personnel went to the casino to keep people inside and the area secure. They also had personnel monitoring North Kansas City=92s air quality, especially in the nearby Paseo Industrial District.

North Kansas City Police Chief Glenn Ladd said 11 people from the scene were transported to the hospital for treatment of fume inhalation. Six were police officers, one being a North Kansas City officer.

The day after the accident, Ladd said the officer had been released and was back on the job.

Mayor Bill Biggerstaff commended the fire and police departments for their professionalism and training utilized to respond to the accident.

"I am very proud of these two departments," Biggerstaff said.

The trucking company, Occidental Chemical Corp. of Wichita, Kan., hired an environmental contractor to conduct the cleanup and none of the acid was reported to have reached the nearby Missouri River, according to the press release.



For one agency, bang wasn't big enough

Shortages of staff and money keep a federal group from investigating blasts like the one that shook the Seabrook area
Dec. 10, 2009, 9:58AM

Wednesday's blast at the American Acryl plant in Seabrook sent a plume of smoke across the area.

WASHINGTON =97 Explosions at two Houston-area industrial plants in the last week, including Wednesday's chemical plant blast in Seabrook, killed one person and injured four others, but the federal agency charged with investigating such incidents won't probe either one, federal officials confirmed Wednesday.

The reason: chronic shortages of staff and money, said John Bresland, chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. The board will investigate a manufacturing plant accident in Illinois that killed a truck driver.

Bresland said his 40-person, $10.6 million-a-year investigative agency does not have enough people to handle more than the 16 investigations that are already under way =97 a fraction of the dozens of accidents at refineries and chemical plants each year.

=93We would like to investigate more accidents but that would require additional resources from Congress,=94 Bres land said in a telephone interview.

But the board's practice of picking and choosing the accidents it investigates remains a point of contention for Congress' watchdog Government Accountability Office.

Bresland's agency =93continues to fall short of its statutory mandate=94 by failing to investigate =93all accidental releases that have a fatality, a serious injury, substantial property damage or the potential for a fatality, serious injury or substantial property damage,=94 the GAO said last August.

Texas hemical-explosion-injures-one-man/

Sonora explosion injures worker
Chemicals are not toxic, company says

By Justin Zamudio
Posted December 10, 2009 at 12:16 p.m. , updated December 10, 2009 at 8:46 p.m.

SAN ANGELO, Texas =97 A chemical explosion at a Multi-Chem plant in Sonora sent one man to the hospital with internal bruising.

The explosion happened Wednesday afternoon as a plant operator was filling a chemical tote, said Marcus Lopez, attorney for Multi-Chem. The man was airlifted to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Lopez said.

The worker=92s identity was not disclosed by Multi-Chem or the Sutton County Sheriff=92s Office. The man resides in the Sonora area, Lopez said.

Cade Bourque, environmental health and safety director for Multi-Chem, said the injuries were sustained from the rupturing of the chemical tote. He said the container ruptured because of a chemical reaction.

=93The explosion was small and contained to the area of the worker,=94 Lopez said. =93These aren=92t toxic chemicals of any kind =97 it wasn=92t a flammable explosion. ... Nobody else was hurt from it.=94

The chemicals that caused the container to rupture are unknown, Bourque said. He said Multi-Chem is conducting an investigation.

Sutton County Sheriff Joe Fincher said that the call came in just before 3 p.m. Wednesday and that his department, the Sonora Police Department and the Sonora Fire Department responded.

The ambulance transported the victim to the Lillian M. Hudspeth Memorial Hospital in Sonora.

Because the injuries were thought to be more severe at the time, he was airlifted to San Antonio, Bourque said.

=93The injuries to the employee aren=92t as bad as thought,=94 Bourque said. =93The latest we=92ve heard is he has some internal bruising, no broken bones, no chemical burning.=94

The man=92s family is with him, Lopez said.

The Sutton County plant is a chemical storage, distribution and blending facility, Bourque said.

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