German town faced catastrophe in TDI accident – minister

05 October 2012 20:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A town near Wiesbaden, Germany, was facing a possible catastrophe in August when a toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) tank threatened to explode after an accident at a foam products plant, a government minister said on Friday.

“It was only because of the committed work of [fire fighters and emergency staff] that the town of Oestrich-Winkel escaped a possible catastrophe,” Boris Rhein, minister of internal affairs for Germany’s Hessen state, said.

Some 500 fire, police, emergency and technical staff worked at the site of foam products firm Koepp Schaum from 13 August, when the accident occurred, to 8 September - for an estimated 12,000 working hours.

The accident was triggered when a water/glycol mixture was accidentally poured into a tank containing TDI, according to preliminary findings of an investigation.

The key challenge emergency workers faced was to keep the tank cooled down to avoid an explosion while countering dangerous fumes that kept escaping, Rhein said. He was speaking at a reception to thank fire fighters and other emergency staff.

According to the ministry, 24 people were injured because of the accident.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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