Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 07:20:09 -0400
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From: Ralph Stuart <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
Subject: Chemical Safety headlines from Google

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An explosion caused by hydrogen gas in a University of Missouri biochemistry research lab on Monday injured four people and destroyed the laboratory, university and fire department officials report.

The blast occurred in the lab of biochemistry professor Judy D. Wall, who studies sulfate-reducing bacteria.

The injured researchers included one graduate student, two postdoctoral researchers, and a staff research scientist, says University of Missouri spokesperson Christian Basi. Three were treated at the hospital and released; the fourth was hospitalized and reported to be in good condition on Tuesday.

The gas, which is extremely flammable and can form explosive mixtures with air, was being used for an experiment when the explosion occurred, says Columbia, Mo., fire department investigator Brian Davison. Investigators have not yet determined whether the gas was ignited or exploded spontaneously, although they do believe the explosion was an accident, Davison says.



WEST SPRINGFIELD -- The Erie County Hazardous Materials Team cleaned up a small chemical spill from a tractor-trailer this afternoon in Springfield Township.

The hazmat team responded to the call just after 3 p.m. at a Sunoco gas station and convenience store at Interstate 90 and Route 215.

Crews cleaned up a caustic liquid chemical, Springfield Volunteer Fire Department Captain Luke Weldon said.

There were no injuries reported.

The driver of the double tractor-trailer was eastbound on I-90. He pulled into the Sunoco station after noticing that one of his trailers was leaking, Weldon said.

One of his trailers contained three 300-gallon barrels of the caustic liquid, Weldon said. The other trailer contained household items.

The load shifted and spilled inside the trailer, Weldon said.

Weldon said most of the chemical spill was contained within the trailer.


US_CA ONE LANE CLOSED AFTER HAZ-MAT SITUATION, http://www.kps t-Center/7rDPcnH64kWHFgE7lHEClQ.cspx

UPDATE: Cal-Fire says all eastbound lanes have reopened and only one westbound lane remained closed Tuesday afternoon after haz-mat teams determined no dangerous chemicals leaked from an overturned big rig.

The crash was reported just after 7 p.m. Monday when a big rig hauling about 4,500 pounds of methyl parathion, an agricultural-grade pesticide in powder form, crashed with at least one other vehicle, which caught fire, according to the California Highway Patrol.

People at the scene used fire extinguishers to put the fire out, according to the CHP. Two people were transported to hospitals with minor to moderate injuries, according to Cal Fire-Riverside County.

There were initial concerns the pesticide load was liquid, extremely hazardous, and that it was leaking. Authorities advised clearing a five-mile radius around the traffic crash scene.

By 11 p.m., county hazmat and environmental health workers determined none of the material had leaked. A private contractor was called out to clean up about 380 boxes of the pesticide, according to Cal Fire-Riverside County.



ELLIOT, Pa. -- Emergency responders blocked off Bucyrus Street in Elliot Tuesday morning after a cleaning crews found a barrel of potassium cyanide inside a home.

Neighbors were told to stay indoors while hazardous materials crews investigated the situation.

Police said no one was living at the home for about a month.

Firefighters said a 100 gallon barrel was half-full of the highly toxic substance. HAZMAT crews were able to safely take control of the substance and said it was never exposed to anyone.

Crews said the substance could have been used to clean concrete by the people who lived there before. Potassium Cyanide can also be used in the mining process and to clean jewelry.

Police are now investigating. No injuries were reported.



Catskill, NY 06/28/10 State Police assigned to the New York Sate Thruway investigated a tractor-trailer rollover accident which occurred at approximately 1:50am this morning. The accident occurred in the Town of Catskill in Greene County. The northbound vehicle, a tank truck owned by Slack Chemical Company of Carthage, NY, carrying approximately 4,700 gallons of hypochlorite solution, overturned and spilled about 3,200 gallons of the cargo. The driver, Robert Lawrence, age 55, of Galway, NY stated that he lost control of the vehicle when he swerved to miss a deer in the roadway. He was treated at the scene for minor lacerations and later transported to Albany Medical Center for precautionary measures. Emergency services including NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Spill Response, the Greene County Hazmat Team, a NYSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit and multiple local fire and ambulance services responded to the scene. Northbound traffic was detoured off the Thruway at the Saugerties interchange as the accident was investigated and the spill contained. Both northbound lanes were closed until 9:00am. The chemical was described as being stronger than household liquid bleach, but weaker than swimming pool shock treament, with contact being the primary hazzard. Cleanup of the spilled product is being addressed; the remaining product in the tanker was off loaded into another tanker. No tickets were issued to the driver.



(CNN) -- An explosion that injured four people at a University of Missouri science lab Monday afternoon was caused by human error, authorities said.
Lab personnel failed to turn off a hydrogen tank during an experiment and the building concentration of gas eventually exploded, the Columbia Fire Department said after an initial investigation. The building's sprinkler system put out the fire.
"Glass and debris from the third floor Biochemistry Lab had rained down onto the sidewalk, courtyard and driveway to the building, fire officials said. "Seventeen third-story windows were blown out."
The injured were transported to University Hospital, officials said. Three of the victims had been released by late Monday. The fourth was being treated in the hospital's burn unit.
"The number of injuries was certainly reduced due to the campus being on summer break, with a significantly reduced number of people in and around this facility," fire officials said.


US_WA: CHEMICALS RELEASED IN BLAZE; HAZMAT TEAM CALLED TO HELP, http://www.kndo .com/Global/story.asp?S=12723840

RICHLAND, Wash. -- A hazardous waste facility in Richland was destroyed in a fire. Fire investigators say flames broke out at the Horn Rapids Landfill around 5:15 PM Sunday.

Fire crews say hazmat teams were called because of the chemicals release in the blaze. 220 gallons of flammables and pesticides burned.

Before the damage can be cleaned up, the Department of Ecology will assess the safety risk. Fortunately, the chemicals caught in the water from firefighters ran off into a contained pool built for that very purpose.

There was still a strong chemical odor in the air Monday afternoon.

Assistant Fire Marshall James Jordan describes the scene firefighters arrived to, "When they arrived it was fully involved. We had small canisters, propane bottles, aerosol cans blowing up. One of them started a secondary fire on some grass about 200 feet away. It was quickly knocked down by an arriving crew."



DESERT CENTER (CBS) =E2=80=95 Officials say a five mile stretch of the 10 Freeway has been closed in the Desert Center area after a tanker truck overturned.

Cleanup along the eastbound Interstate 10 between Desert Center and Indio continued after a hazardous materials crash Monday night, authorities said. 

The crash occurred just east of Hayfield Road, between Desert Center and Indio and was reported just after 7 p.m. 

A big rig carrying about 4,500 pounds of methyl parathion, an agricultural-grade pesticide in powder form, crashed into at least one other vehicle and later caught fire. 

People at the scene used fire extinguishers to put the fire out, according to the CHP. Two people were taken to local hospitals with minor to moderate injuries, according to Cal Fire-Riverside County.



Gas truck accidental explosion kills 18, wounds 40

A truck carrying chemicals accidentally exploded on Monday in southern Pakistan after pressure built up in its storage tank, killing 18 people and wounding 40, police said. 

Hundreds of people rushed to the truck depot in Hyderabad city to search through the rubble of destroyed shops for dead and wounded, local television footage showed.

Authorities ruled out militarism and determined the blast occurred from a pressure build-up, said the senior police official in Hyderabad.

The truck was carrying 30-thousand litres (7,925 gallons) of "thinner," said the police chief in Sindh province where Hyderabad is located.


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