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07-11-14 Firefighters Respond to Fire/Haz-Mat Incident at JIT Chemicals


The workers evacuated the immediate area and called 911 just before 9:00 a.m. The s2m2 Fire Department responded with six fire companies and the haz-mat team. With assistance from s2m2 police, Manufacturers Road near the plant was completely blocked off as a precaution.

Battalion Chief Chris Willmore said the caustic soda was identified as a 50% solution of sodium hydroxide. Plant employees and response personnel estimate that 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of the product spilled out around the storage tank. Chief Willmore said the tank is surrounded by an earthen dike that contained all of the spilled caustic soda. When the leak and fire occurred, one worker was contaminated with the caustic soda. The 31-year-old male was transported by Hamilton County EMS to Erlanger Medical Center, where he was expected to be treated and released.

The firefighters used water to extinguish the fire on the side of the storage tank, and kept spraying water on the tank until a valve was closed to stop the flow of the caustic soda. An environmental cleanup company will work with JIT workers to clean up the spilled caustic soda. Plant personnel will also be investigating the cause of the incident. Other state and federal regulatory agencies may be involved in that investigation.

Hamilton County Emergency Services and s2m2-Hamilton County Rescue also provided assistance on the scene.

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Photo by Amy Maxwell, public information officer with Hamilton County Emergency Services (HCES).

 

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