Chemical accident at Kraft Foods in Germany forces evacuations

16 October 2012 13:54  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A German town near Hanover evacuated about 2,000 people following a chemical accident at a Kraft Foods plant, officials said on Tuesday.

The accident, at Kraft Foods’ site in Bad Fallingbostel, occurred late Monday when workers inadvertently poured thousands of litres of nitric acid into a tank containing sodium hydroxide, causing the escape a poisonous chemical gas cloud.

Stephen Meier, a spokesman for local fire services, said that the situation on the site remained tense on Tuesday and evacuations will likely remain in place throughout the day.

After initial progress on Monday night, the tank heated up on Tuesday, posing the risk of further escapes of gases, Meier said.

Fire fighters are using large amounts of water to cool the tank and to contain and dilute escaping gases, Meier said. At the same time, attempts are underway to remove the nitric acid from the tank.

Human exposure to the gases was dangerous, causing “acidic irritation” to the skin, Meier said.

Media officials at Kraft Foods were not immediately available for comment. However, a company spokeswoman was quoted by German media as saying that nobody was injured in the accident.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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