Shelter in place called after acidic gas leak in Curtis Bay | WYPR

Shelter in place called after acidic gas leak in Curtis Bay

Sep 18, 2017

Residents of neighborhoods near an industrial plant in Curtis Bay were told to stay inside today when a cloud of acid leaked from the plant in the 3400 block of Fairfield Avenue.

The Baltimore City Office of Emergency Management sent a tweet to residents of three zip codes, 21060, 21225, and 21226 at about 12:30 pm on Monday.

City Fire Chief Roman Clarke says a cloud of acidic gas leaked from a valve at the Solvay Industrial Plant while the acid was being transferred from a tanker to a trailer. The fire department sent in a HAZMAT team to turn off the valve. 

"They'll just check to see if there is any additional amount of this chemical on the floor," says Clarke. "And mitigate that with large volumes of water."

According to the Center for Disease Control, the gas is odorless, colorless, or could be yellow-tinged and is "very corrosive to the eyes skin, and respiratory tract."

Chief Clarke says that anyone living near the plant who has symptoms of sore throat, skin, burns, or redness should get help. 

"I would suggest they call 9-1-1 if they are experiencing something," says Clarke. "However, we have not had any reports of anybody reporting illness or anything. We had no injuries to report."

By 1:42 pm the leak was mitigated, the cloud of acid dissipated, and the shelter in place was called off. The Baltimore City Health Department is following up with nearby hospitals to keep track of any mass exposure.