1. #1
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    Default If the asphalt's melting, you know it's gonna be a long day

    Friday, November 7, 2003

    Chemical leak closes I-190

    Toxic liquid contained; truck driver cited

    Jason Feifer
    CORRESPONDENT



    Emergency crews work on Interstate 190 yesterday after a chemical spill from the tanker truck at top left. (T&G Staff / PAUL KAPTEYN)
    Enlarge photo


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    WEST BOYLSTON- A leaking tractor trailer released nearly 20 gallons of a toxic chemical onto Interstate 190 yesterday morning, causing a four-mile stretch of the southbound lanes to be closed for about nine hours, state police said.

    The truck was transporting 43,600 pounds of hydrazine hydrate, according to the West Boylston Fire Department. The chemical is corrosive, combustible and dangerous to inhale or touch, but it is also used as a corrosion inhibitor at nuclear power plants, a department spokesman said.

    At 10:50 a.m., a passing motorist called the state police to report that the truck was leaking, and a trooper pulled it over minutes later, according to state police spokesman Sgt. David R. Paine.

    State police identified the area of the spill as about three miles north of Exit 4 and 1˝ miles south of Exit 5.

    State police said nobody was injured and the chemical did not spill off the highway or flow into any waterways. The Quinapoxet River runs between the two exits.

    The state police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Team arrived within minutes and shoveled sand from the side of the road around the spill. An environmental cleanup company, Clean Harbor Services of North Grafton, was called to treat and remove the chemical, which was contained within a 20-foot circle.

    State police said the chemical damaged the road surface, which required a work crew to be brought in for repairs and prolonged the closing of the road. The closed section was reopened by 8 p.m., according to Sgt. Paine.

    The leak was probably caused by a pressure release valve that functions when the inside pressure becomes too high, according to Sgt. Paine. He said it had not been determined whether the problem was caused by human or mechanical error, but the driver, Louisiana resident Timothy Keene, was cited for releasing a hazardous chemical from a package.

    As the truck was pulling into the breakdown lane, it shot out a thick cloud of chemical that covered all the southbound lanes, according to Princeton resident Bruce L. Englund. He said he was driving next to the truck when it happened.

    "It was just like a smokescreen," he said. "It was like a dream. You couldn't even see the road."

    Mr. Englund said the cloud left a residue on his van. He did not stop, he said, because he was on his way to make a delivery in Worcester, but returned afterward to ask state police if the chemical was dangerous.

    He said his windows were closed and he has not felt sick.

    "My skin's not peeling off," he said with a laugh. "But it was quite an experience."

    The truck came from Fitchburg and was on its way to Louisiana, according to Sgt. Paine. Hydrazine hydrate is commonly used in the production of pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemicals.

    According to Sgt. Paine, an area of 150 feet should typically be cordoned off around a spill of this chemical. Luckily, he said, it leaked in a remote area and was easily contained.

    By noon, the area around the spill was lined with flashing vehicles. Besides the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Team, there were hazardous materials teams from West Boylston and Holden fire departments and someone from the state Department of Environmental Protection, according to Sgt. Paine.

    He said some chemical might have leaked before the truck was pulled over, but it would have been minimal and posed no danger.

    "I feel very fortunate that nobody was injured," he said. "Due to quick reaction time of the hazmat teams from our department and other departments, they were able to contain it before it did become more dangerous. So, hats off to them."

    Other agencies that responded to the spill included the state Department of Environmental Protection, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross.

    Edward J. Canty of the Telegram & Gazette staff contributed to this report

  2. #2
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    Default Re: If the asphalt's melting, you know it's gonna be a long day

    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    As the truck was pulling into the breakdown lane, it shot out a thick cloud of chemical that covered all the southbound lanes, according to Princeton resident Bruce L. Englund. He said he was driving next to the truck when it happened.

    "It was just like a smokescreen," he said. "It was like a dream. You couldn't even see the road."

    Mr. Englund said the cloud left a residue on his van. He did not stop, he said, because he was on his way to make a delivery in Worcester, but returned afterward to ask state police if the chemical was dangerous.
    This planet is doomed.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  3. #3
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    "It was like a dream......".
    Mr. Englund said the cloud left a residue on his van. He did not stop,
    but returned afterward to ask state police if the chemical was dangerous.
    windows were closed and he has not felt sick
    "My skin's not peeling off," he said with a laugh
    <<< That guy 5 years from now>>> "Gee doc, I cant figure out how I got this giant tumor on my face. I have never been exposed to any dangerous chemicals at all."

  4. #4
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    Post WTF??.........

    I am a HazMat tech, among my other certifications, but this one is new to me. A "corrosive corrosion inhibitor? I'm confused......
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    Default Re: WTF??.........

    Originally posted by hwoods
    I am a HazMat tech, among my other certifications, but this one is new to me. A "corrosive corrosion inhibitor? I'm confused......
    I am glad I am not the only one that caught that. I got this information from a Genium.com

    Hydrazine CAS#: 302-01-2

    Emergency Overview
    Hydrazine is a colorless, white liquid with an ammonia-like odor. It is highly toxic by skin absorption, and toxic by ingestion and inhalation. It is corrosive or severely irritating to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Sensitizer! Acute effects of exposure include damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs and blood cells. Suspected carcinogen! This flammable liquid is a severe explosion hazard when exposed to heat or flame, or by reaction with oxidizers. When heated to decomposition, hydrazine emits nitrogen oxides (NO%sub%x%/sub%)and ammonia (NH%sub%3%/sub%).
    Fire Diamond

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    Talking see, none of those decals will make sense.....

    See, the way I figure it, people need to be more specific about the warning signs on the back of a truck. all diamonds and the pictures won't do anymore, I mean someone making a delivery won't know if he should stop because the big "danger" sign could just mean it's dangerous to the road. and it makes sense that you don't want to set the truck on fire like the picture tells you too. And it's just common sense not to cut your hand with a full beaker. And those pretty diamonds are just soooooo distracting....

    In the perfect world, we'd have danger signs that say "STUFF INSIDE MAKES OWIE" or the occational "THIS MAKES YOU DIE"

    Or we could just remove ALL saftey warnings and let the problem sort itself out. Should only take a couple years.

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    Question "Well gee wiz Mr. Policeman..."

    "...I don't care how far I spread the chemical, or who I petentially exposed to its effects....I'm just worried about me *and the paint on my van.* Is it toxic? I figured NOW would be a good time to ask. Am I gonna die? Oh no! The cloud-- it was like a dream! Am I already dead??"

    Some days, I really don't like people. Does anyoe esle ever appreciate Darwinism and it's approach to the theory of natural selection?

    I like Mud Flap's idea."Stuff inside makes owie," or "This makes you die," would be MUCH more effective...Maybe there should be an "owie" section in the ERG?

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    What we have here is yet another example of natural selection at work.

    Here's another thing that should be painted on the BOTTOM of these vehicles...

    "IF YOU CAN READ THIS, RUN!"
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    I drove by this incident on my way home (opposite direction). I went through the area the next morning, hope my truck doesn't fall apart!

    Scott

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    Found this info also...

    USES: Hydrazine hydrate is used in the production of pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, and blowing agents. It can be used as polymerization catalysts, food additives, soldering fluxes and in manufacture of surfactants, detergents and plasticizer. It can also be used as a propellant for ROCKET ENGINES.

    Yeah baby!!!


    Scott

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    Default Re: If the asphalt's melting, you know it's gonna be a long day

    "It was like a dream."
    And he says the chemical didn’t affect him…

  12. #12
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    How's this?
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    If we were to tell the public what was driving down their streets at night they would freak. Up here in Maine we have a particular problem in that local roads and state highways have a weight limit of 100,000lbs, while the Interstate is limited to 74,000lbs, so guess where all the heavy carriers go? It would be an open revolt against anything with more than 4 wheels.
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    toxic by ingestion
    Quote:
    USES: Hydrazine hydrate is used in the production of pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, and blowing agents. It can be used as polymerization catalysts,food additives, soldering fluxes and in manufacture of surfactants, detergents and plasticizer. It can also be used as a propellant for ROCKET ENGINES.

    Interesting.

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