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  • No one hurt at Sun Chemical Corp. fire in Berkeley County
    Several fire departments responded to a fire at a Berkeley County chemical plant Saturday morning. The chief of the Goose Creek Rural Fire Department says they received a call about a fire at Sun Chemical at Bushy Creek Park about 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Pimlico and Whitesville Fire Departments also responded as part of an auto-aid agreement. The Fire Departments assisted the plant's response team, getting the fire under control in about 45 minutes. The site manager says the incident occurred in one of the vessels involving methane. The Goose Creek Rural Fire Department says there are no hazards to the community or first responders.
  • ATF warns of danger from 'hash oil' explosions
    DENVER — A potentially explosive technique used to make a powerful marijuana concentrate from pot leaves and stems has federal investigators cautioning the public about the risks of hash oil extraction. When done wrong, the process can cause a fireball or flash fire that blows out windows and doors. Authorities say they've seen an uptick in hash oil-related incidents from California to Washington and New Jersey, and say it's in part because people learn the basic technique over the Internet but often lack the sophistication to do it safely. In 2014, there were 32 butane hash-oil explosions in Colorado alone. Now, there is a move to limit the amount of the chemical someone can purchase. Watch the video to see a hash-oil explosion. VPC While the technique to make hash oil — also known as wax, shatter, butter or dabs — isn't new, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives experts say the danger can be greater in states that have legalized marijuana because people have access to larger quantities of marijuana plants. ATF agents aren't taking a position on marijuana legalization but are asking lawmakers to consider the ramifications of permitting hash oil extraction. "I don't think they realize it's unsafe," said Billy Magalassi, chief of the ATF's fire investigation and arson enforcement division. "Kids are curious but they're dealing with things that are very dangerous." Colorado's constitution permits residents to make marijuana extracts like hash oil, although Gov. John Hickenlooper is considering whether to sign a proposal specifically banning the use of butane for hash extraction.
  • Santa Barbara oil spill: Officials step up inquiries
    Santa Barbara, California (CNN)Authorities intensified their response Friday to this week's Santa Barbara oil spill by announcing remedies and additional investigations. Meanwhile, environmentalists declared the 105,000-gallon spill "a wake-up call" about additional oil development and the nation's dependence on fossil fuels. The federal government ordered the firm, Plains All American Pipeline, to suspend operations and make safety improvements on the ruptured pipe, according to a corrective action order announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Meanwhile, the California attorney general's office is now working with local prosecutors as well as state and federal agencies in investigating Tuesday's spill that prompted a state-issued emergency in Santa Barbara County and the closing of two state beaches until June 4.
  • EPA says Citgo Corpus Christi plant agrees to fine, fix problems
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday an agreement had been reached with Citgo Petroleum Corp to fix violations found at the company's Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery. In addition to corrective actions agreed to with the agency, Citgo will pay a $360,000 civil penalty and give $117,000 to the Corpus Christi Fire Department to purchase equipment to detect and identify suspected chemical leaks, the EPA said. "Keeping communities and workers safe is the highest priority for EPA's enforcement program," said Regional Administrator Ron Curry, in a statement from the agency. "Companies have to be held accountable when they violate these important regulations." A Citgo spokesman did not reply to a request for comment about the agreement. The EPA, acting on a tip from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, discovered the violations during an unannounced inspection of the 163,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery in June 2012. "The inspectors found violations in a range of areas, including equipment and controls, operation and auditing procedures, and initial and ongoing training," the agency said in a statement. Citgo will be required to correct each violation as part of the agreement. The Chemical Safety Board found numerous problems with a system meant to prevent a dangerous release of hydrofluoric acid into the atmosphere following a 2009 fire on an alkylation unit that uses the highly corrosive and poisonous substance.
  • Naperville chlorine spill puts 11 people in hospital
    Eight children and three adults are being treated for respiratory issues at Edward Hospital in Naperville following a chlorine spill this morning at Goldfish Swim School on the 1600 block of Quincy Avenue in Naperville. All of the patients are in good condition and expected to be released, according to an Edward Hospital spokesman. Fire department Bureau Chief Andrew Dina said firefighters responded to a call of a hazardous materials spill at 10:23 a.m. and arrived at the school to find people leaving the building -- many of them coughing. The department's hazardous materials team discovered a chlorine leak and began ventilating the building, Dina said. Meanwhile, paramedics treated patients complaining of chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting. Ambulances took nine patients to Edward Hospital, the fire department said, and 19 others refused to be taken there. By 2:30 p.m., spokesman Keith Hartenberger said Edward was treating 11 patients with symptoms from the chlorine leak. Dina said school officials said the staff was "shocking the pool," when the spill occurred, which means they likely found a substance in the water and used chlorine to clean it.
  • Hillsboro-Deering High School evacuated because of odor
    HILLSBOROUGH, N.H. —About 400 students were evacuated Thursday from Hillsboro-Deering High School after a strong odor was detected in one section of the building. Emergency crews were called about 9:15 a.m. after students and staff members reported feeling sick. Firefighters and emergency crews from three towns responded. "Basically, we were called to the location for an unknown odor, so basically, we're investigating one of the rooms on the second floor for an unknown odor," Fire Chief Kenny Stafford said. "We did get a report of some symptoms, headaches, dizziness and stuff like that." Officials said seven people, including students and staff members, were evaluated at the school. No one was taken for treatment, and authorities said everyone appeared to be OK. All students at the school were taken to the nearby middle school and dismissed for the day. First responders spent most of the morning trying to isolate the smell and figure out what it was. "We've narrowed it down to one room, possibly two rooms, which are in the science end of the high school, and that's what we know so far," Stafford said. Around noon, officials determined that the smell was coming from a formaldehyde-like packaging material that had leaked from one of the biology projects, and they said there was no danger. "Right now, it doesn't appear that there is (any danger), but to be on the safe side, we have the hazmat crew checking the building out, and we have the (Department of Environmental Services) folks to just to make sure the building is safe," Superintendent Bob Hassett said.
  • Texas lawmakers approve fertilizer safety bill
    AUSTIN (AP) — Texas lawmakers have sent to Gov. Greg Abbott a bill meant to strengthen regulations for storing the chemical fertilizer that caused a fatal explosion in West in 2013. The Senate gave final approval Thursday to requiring ammonium nitrate be kept separate from combustible material. The bill also grants the state fire marshal new powers to inspect businesses that store the chemical and issue citations. Businesses would have 10 days to fix problems or face penalties. Companies also would be required to give multiple state agencies and local emergency officials reports on what chemicals they store. The Texas Commission on Environment Quality would make those records public.
  • One Transported After Chemical Spill at Farm
    One person was brought to the hospital following a chemical spill Thursday morning at Dickinson Farm on U.S. Route 202 in Granby, Massachusetts. Granby Fire Capt. George Randall told necn affiliate WWLP that at least two chemicals spilled and mixed together, causing a reaction at around 9 a.m. The farm building was immediately evacuated. Firefighters and police from Granby, as well as an Amherst hazardous materials team, and officials from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection all responded to the farm. It was not immediately clear what chemicals had reacted, and the condition of the patient is not known at this time.
  • County and state team up to keep safe site of highway chemical spill
    County and state authorities were able to contain a chemical spill at the intersection of Highway 19 and Highway 75 in Huntsville on Wednesday morning. Huntsville Emergency Management Coordinator John Waldo said the Walker County Hazmat Team was able to neutralize the acid-based substance by about 11 a.m. Authorities are unsure how the spill occurred, which forced the roadway in front of McCoy's Building Supply to be closed for a couple of hours. "It must have fallen off a truck that was turning onto the on-ramp at Highway 19," Waldo said. "We got a call that there was a substance on the ground and that it was smoking. When we got there it was eating the asphalt. "The Hazmat Team was able to neutralize the spill with a sodium-based powder off the truck."
  • Company behind Pearl City chemical spill explains what happened
    The state is considering enforcement action against the company investigators say caused a chemical spill in Aiea last week. The spill occurred on May 11, killing more than 600 fish in an adjacent ditch. The fish have been removed and warning signs have since come down. Investigators traced the spill last week to MOC Hawaii, which sells industrial cleaners and operates out of Harbor Center. The health department said the company accidentally spilled more than 70 gallons of chemicals in the parking lot, which was sent into a storm drain that led to the nearby ditch. KHON2 finally heard from MOC Hawaii’s general manager Wednesday. While he refused to go on camera, he said the company is cooperating with the investigation and actually paid for the clean-up. Two chemicals were involved: a car wash detergent and a dressing that shines tires. The manager said that on the day of the incident, he followed the instructions on what to do in the event of a spill on the Material Safety Data Sheets provided by the manufacturers of the two chemicals.
  • Hazmat battles anhydrous ammonia spill
    BLOOMFIELD — Just before 3 p.m. Tuesday the Davis County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to the 19800 block of Ice Avenue in Bloomfield for an anhydrous ammonia tank rollover. After receiving the initial call, Davis County Sheriff Dave Davis requested Ottumwa Hazmat respond to the scene, due to the inhalation danger of the chemical. “There is actually no cleaning being done; what hazmat did when they got on scene was go up and plug a hole where a valve had broken off,” said Davis explaining how Ottumwa’s team effectively put a stop to any possible danger. A driver had been heading toward Highway 2 on Ice Avenue with two tanks attached to the back. After entering the gravel on the righthand side of the road, the truck began to fishtail resulting in the flip.
  • Fire Marshal: 1 treated after exposure to cleaning chemicals on
    LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A wrecker service employee was taken to the hospital Tuesday for chemical burns sustained while handling hazardous material on the scene of an overturned 18-wheeler on Interstate 20. Longview Police PIO Kristie Brian says that driver of the 18-wheeler was attempting to exit I-20 on the off-ramp for exit 595 in Longview. The driver did not slow down enough, she said, and lost control of the vehicle, causing the trailer to roll over. Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary says the truck was carrying 20 different products, including acids and bases, to which the wrecker service employee was exposed. He was taken to the hospital by private vehicle to be treated. Six other people were evaluated at the scene, but did not need treatment.
  • Two men injured after ammonia leak in Sydney’s southwest
    Two men are in hospital after ammonia leaked from a burst hose south-west of Sydney. One man suffered burns to his arms and another was treated for inhalation after paramedics were called to the scene just after midday at an industrial building on Kurrajong Rd in Prestons.
  • Train derailment causes fuel spill in Great Falls
    GREAT FALLS - Emergency crews responded to the derailment of a rail care in Great Falls on Tuesday afternoon. It happened at about 5:30 p.m. on the east side of town south of Giant Springs State Park.  Initial reports indicate that up to 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel may have spilled from a tanker rail car.  There have been no injuries.  There is no word yet on the cause of the incident.  Matt Jones, a spokesman for BNSF, tells MTN News that the derailment is being investigated.  Jones says that a fuel tank on the locomotive was ruptured in the accident. 
  • 4-alarm chemical fire blazes in San Jose
    SAN JOSE (KRON) — A four alarm chemical fire broke out at a San Jose Automotive Business around 12:30 a.m., according to San Jose Fire Captain Mike Van Elgort, possibly endangering the surrounding area to exposed chemical waste. The fire dispatcher said the fire is burning in the 400 block of Reynolds Circle, near U.S. Highway 101. Van Elgort said fire officials discovered a sign warning of hazardous materials inside was posted on the burning building. Van Elgort said chemicals inside the building contributed to the fire. Firefighters had stopped the spread of the fire by about 2:10 a.m., Van Elgort said. The runoff from the fire is caustic because of the chemicals inside the building and crews are working to contain the runoff so it doesn’t harm the environment, according to fire officials.
  • This Is The World's Smelliest Chemical
    Ever heard of thioacetone? If you live in Freiburg, Germany, you probably have. It takes a lot for people to forget a stink that once evacuated an entire city. A factory in Freiberg attempted to make thioacetone in 1889. Thioacetone is not easy to make — the compound (CH3)2CS stays liquid only at temperatures of under -20 degrees celsius; get it any warmer and it clumps together and converts to a white solid called trithioacentone — but in either form, it stinks horribly. The odor from the factory was able to be smelled (what’s the word for smellable? Odible?) from half a kilometer away. It spread throughout the entire city, where it caused “fainting, vomiting, and a panic evacuation” according to factory workers. That should have been enough for science, but it seems that chemists make it a point to never learn. In 1967, workers at an Esso station near Oxford decided to give it another go. A bottle came unstoppered and the entire lab found themselves “with an odour problem beyond our worst expectations.” The chemists replaced the stopper but, the incident, “resulted in an immediate complaint of nausea and sickness from colleagues working in a building two hundred yards away.” What’s more, it seems that thioacetone is the kind of smell that clings. Two chemists making tiny amounts of the thioacetone discovered that they couldn’t go to restaurants anymore because they stank so badly that waitresses sprayed the air around them with deodorant. The Esso people abandoned the project, for obvious reasons, but not before they figured out how bad thioacetone stank. They were the ones to figure out that thioacetone’s odor had a reach of half a kilometer, but also that it only took a single drop to contaminate the area with its noxious smell. Thanks, guys!
  • Evacuations Ordered After Chemical Cars Derail in Louisiana
    Six tanker cars, three of them carrying caustic or hazardous chemicals — including lye — derailed Tuesday in Addis, Louisiana, triggering a state of emergency and the mandatory evacuation of residents around the scene, West Baton Rouge Parish officials confirmed. The parish's Office of Homeland Security ordered everyone within 1,000 feet to leave the area, in about 35 homes, while the cars are righted. People within 300 feet were told they weren't likely to be allowed back in until Wednesday morning. Officials said the cars didn't appear to have been damaged and that the evacuations were precautionary. NBC station WVLA of Baton Rouge reported that the Addis VFW Hall was being used as an emergency shelter. Addis is across the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge, the state capital. Authorities said the chemical cars, which were being pulled by a Union Pacific locomotive, were carrying sodium hydroxide, better known as lye; propylene oxide, an eye and respiratory irritant; and propylene dichloride, a strong acid. West Baton Rouge Parish President Riley Bertholet Jr. declared a local disaster emergency, and Addis police were going door to door Tuesday night to alert residents and assist with the evacuation, the homeland security office said.
  • Richmond: Fire crews battle blaze at chemical laboratory
    ICHMOND -- Fire crews fought a blaze in a chemical processing boiler room at a laboratory Monday night, officials said. Richmond Fire responded to a report of a boiler room fire at 8:50 p.m. Monday at a laboratory at the 3000 block of Regatta Boulevard, said Battalion Chief Merlin Turner. An employee of the chemical manufacturer noticed the fire in the processing boiler room. Automatic sprinklers over the boiler contained the fire to that room, Turner said. The presence of hazardous chemical in the room made the blaze difficult to control, but the fire was extinguished in 20 minutes. Chemicals contained in 55-gallon drums in the room that were not released into the air or through water runoff. No one was injured during the fire, Turner said. Damage to the boiler room was estimated $100,000 loss to the facility. Due to the hazardous materials in the laboratory, crews tested pH levels to check for chemicals in the air or in water runoff. Crews haven't determined what caused the fire, Turner said. Hazardous materials crews and investigators remained at the scene Monday night.
  • Chemical reaction at jail sickens officers, inmates
    ALFRED, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Two corrections officers went to the hospital late Monday night after a chemical reaction in the laundry room of the York County Jail released a noxious gas. Two chemicals were accidentally mixed causing the gas to fill part of the jail, jail officials said. Two inmates who were in the laundry room at the time complained of feeling sick or said they had sore throats. Two correctional officers at the jail also were sickened by the order – also complaining of having sore throats -- and were taken to the hospital for observation.
  • Hazmat team responds at Wawa
    GLOUCESTER TWP. – A Wawa closed for a few hours Sunday after a service station attendant pumped gas into a boat bilge instead of into its gas tank. Lt. Brendan Barton said the store at 2700 Sicklerville Road near Route 42 had to close around 4 p.m. while a Camden County Hazardous Materials Response Team was called to Gloucester Township and safely removed the gas from the bilge. Several area fire departments also responded. Barton said the attendant filled the first of two gas tanks on the boat and then used the wrong opening for the second tank. He said the store management phoned police to report the a “spill” though no fuel was spilled on the ground.
  • Firefighters on scene at ammonia leak at Fresh Express in Morrow, avoid the area
    MORROW — Clayton County firefighters are getting ready to enter Fresh Express in Morrow in Level 3 hazmat suits in an attempt to clean up an ammonia leak. ##Spokesman Battalion Chief David Vasquez told Clayton News that officials are asking residents to stay out of the area. Part of Southern Road where the Fresh Market is located is blocked off and clogged up with tractor trailers trying to make deliveries. ##Vazquez said 400 people evacuated the building when the leak was reported at about 11:59 a.m. The ammonia has allegedly been contained to one room and there are no injuries or sicknesses reported at this time. ##He said the ammonia Fresh Express uses is more dangerous than its household counterpart because it’s a higher concentration used for refrigerating and cleaning the entire building.
  • Explosion injures Metro officer in Sandy Valley
    A Las Vegas police officer was seriously burned on his face, neck and hands by exploding debris while on a call in Sandy Valley on Monday. A civilian also suffered minor burns in what may be an accidental explosion, police said. First responders were sent in for medical support about 5:46 p.m., according to Clark County Fire Department dispatch logs. The officer, whose name was not immediately released, was called to investigate an abandoned residence in the 2000 block of Woods Avenue in Sandy Valley, which is about 60 miles southwest of Las Vegas. When the home was cleared by the officer, people gathered up garbage from a previous tenant in a “burn barrel,” Metropolitan Police Department supervisor Lt. Dave Valenta said. An unknown item or chemical in the barrel exploded, and the officer was the closest to it. He was taken in a helicopter to University Medical Center. His condition was not released. Valenta said Metro’s hazardous materials ARMOR unit, as well the Las Vegas Fire Department bomb squad were investigating the incident to determine what caused the explosion.
  • Fire at chemical plant
    CHAMPAIGN -- Fire caused a chemical spill Monday. It happened at Orbiter Research. The company is on the corner of Gemini Court and Mercury Drive. Orbiter makes chemicals for pharmaceutical companies. Fire officials say an employee was working with an alcohol-based product when static caused a spark igniting the fire. The building was evacuated. When crews finished with the scene, Orbiter employees will clean up what's left of the chemical. No one was hurt.
  • Chemical spill kills hundreds of fish in Aiea ditch
    The state is investigating a chemical spill that killed hundreds of fish in a drainage ditch along the Pearl Harbor bike path in Aiea. Hawaii News Now reports that people reported seeing and smelling the dead fish last Tuesday, when state Department of Health workers counted more than 500 dead fish. Officials said water samples revealed the presence of a chemical similar to a cleaner or solvent. They're looking into whether nearby businesses might have been responsible. One did have an accidental spill last Monday. Carroll Cox, the president of the environmental group EnviroWatch Inc., said she observed dead bone fish, tilapia, guppies and crabs. She said it was disturbing to be in a beautiful area only to come upon a "wall of smell." Authorities want to make sure that chemicals don't drain into Pearl Harbor. Health officials said the Navy owns the ditch and will clean it up.
  • School lab set on fire
    Early on Saturday, unidentified men set fire to a laboratory in a private school in Padarayanapura coming under J.J. Nagar police station limits. According to the police, several goods, including LED TV sets, CCTV cameras, 16 computers and many important documents were gutted in the fire in the ground floor of Subhash Memorial English Medium School. The fire was reported around 3.20 a.m. by a neighbour, Ismail, who reportedly heard sounds of crackers and went to check. Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The school’s head mistress Saira Banu filed a complaint with the police. “We are verifying the CCTV footage. We are yet to ascertain their motive. The damage has been estimated at Rs. 2 lakh,” said an investigating officer.