Chemical Spill in North Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/22/03

Chemical Spill in North Lubbock

As of 6 p.m., Hazardous Materials teams were still on the scene at a North Lubbock chemical plant, where a 5,000 gallon tank full of hydrochloric acid ruptured just after 9:30 Friday morning.

While there is no longer a threat to public health, the threat was a real concern earlier in the day. There was even some brief discussion about locking down a nearby elementary school because of possible airborne chemicals.

Just after 9:30 Friday morning, emergency crews and Haz-Mat teams converged on the Koch materials plant following reports of a large chemical spill.

"We got a report about a 5,000 gallon tank collapsing," says Lubbock Fire Department Public Information Officer Mark Ethridge.

Before going in, crews were briefed on the dangers. The Koch plant produces an oil and water based asphalt for roads. Witnesses say a tanker truck was unloading acid into a permanent tank when the permanent tank collapsed.

Six people were inside and all made it out safely.

Breathing large amounts of the chemical can be toxic. So, the EOC mobilized and established a perimeter around the plant. By late morning, Hazmat crews had the situation under control and there was no longer a threat to public health.

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