Friday, December 15, 2000

Acid spill forces 150 to evacuate

No one injured in tanker leak at paint plant

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WOODLAWN — More than 150 employees were evacuated from three businesses Thursday morning when hydrochloric acid began leaking from a tanker truck in an industrial area off Glendale-Milford Road.

[photo] Gary Parnell (left) and Terry Bretz ride to the scene of an acid spill at a Woodlawn plant on Thursday.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        No one was hurt in the spill of several hundred gallons of acid on the property of CDR Pigments & Dispersions, a plant that manufactures paint pigments.

        The acid leak began about 9 a.m. when a flange broke on the tanker truck while workers were preparing to unload material, said Capt. Doug Wehmeyer of the Woodlawn Fire Department.

        Some of the acid went into a sewer leading to the Mill Creek. But the acid never reached the creek, Capt. Wehmeyer said.

        “We were able to contain it on the property,” he said.

        The Greater Cincinnati Hazardous Materials Unit stopped the leak about 11 a.m.

        Some employees of CDR and two neighboring businesses, Major Tire Co. and Borden Inc., a chemical company, were evacuated for about two hours. No houses are in the vicinity of CDR, located on Taconic Terrace off Glendale-Milford Road in Woodlawn.

        In addition to the Woodlawn Fire Department, the Glendale and Lincoln Heights fire departments, the Lockland, Wyoming and Sycamore Township life squads and the American Red Cross responded to the emergency.

        Metro provided a heated bus for emergency workers at the scene.

        The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Coast Guard were notified of the accident.

        The company that owns the tanker-truck, K Limited of Toledo, will be responsible for paying for the chemical cleanup, Capt. Wehmeyer said.

        This is the third serious accident at CDR in the past three years.

        In 1998, between 1,000 and 2,000 employees of CDR and surrounding businesses were evacuated because of a nitrous oxide leak at a CDR plant.

        In 1997, two employees were burned by steam and hot water when they failed to release a pressure valve before opening a lid.

        Kevin Marsh, CDR site manager, said his company will thoroughly investigate Thursday's accident.

        “Obviously, we're concerned about this,” he said. “We will do whatever we can to prevent this from happening again. It's too soon to say what we'll do because our investigations are not com plete.”

        K Trucking and the hydrochloric acid supplier, Jones-Hamilton Co. of Walbridge, Ohio, sent representatives to the accident site to investigate, said Rita Conrad, spokeswoman for Flint Inc., a parent company of CDR based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

        “Like us, they're taking steps to find out what happened,” she said.

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