Dec. 20--Units from the Wichita Falls Fire Department were at the PPG plant north of the city for several hours early Thursday after a furnace at the giant glass plant began leaking,
Assistant Fire Chief John Reese said the leak spilled about 800 tons of molten material into a containment area, which PPG describes as a cement- and brick-lined deep tank basement positioned under the production furnaces. Reese said the fire department was called in to help workers at the plant pour water onto the material to cool the flow.
"It is like a lava flow," Reese said.
He said the furnace is similar to a giant ceramic over and is brick-lined.
This was the second time in the past three days that the furnace had begun leaking. Reese described the first leak on Tuesday as a smaller one. He said no injuries occurred in either incident.
A group of employees who work near the tank were evacuated as a precaution, according to Mark Silvey, a PPG spokesperson. Silvey said no employees were ever at risk.
"The leak occurred as the tank was being drained in preparation for scheduled maintenance," Silvey said in an email.
He said the facility runs another production furnace that is identical to the furnace that will undergo maintenance. The second furnace will continue to operate during the maintenance of the first and shift schedules will remain the same.
Copyright 2013 - Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas