Toxic incident at Stallingborough plant to be investigated
AN investigation into the cause of a 'potentially dangerous' leak of a toxic chemical at a Stallingborough plant is to be launched.
As reported on www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk, emergency response teams were called to the plant yesterday after titanium tetrachloride started leaking at Millenium Inorganic Chemicals (MIC) in Laporte Road, Stallingborough, at 12.30pm.
It comes just seven months after the firm was forced to stop production after being issued with a prohibition notice by the Health And Safety Executive and is the fourth incident involving the chemical at the plant since May 1999.
The HSE banned MIC from production for three months after a white cloud of titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) was released at the plant on November 2 last year.
Four fire engines and three ambulances, including Hazard Area Response Teams, attended yesterday's incident and Humberside Fire and Rescue Service crews controlled the leak using sprays and foam. Humberside Police also attended.
Management team co-ordinator for MIC Rebecca Kirvan said: "The incident has been contained and was dealt with by the company's emergency response team.
"Emergency services were alerted and responded as per company procedure.
"The cause of the incident is not yet known, however, everyone has been accounted for and there were no injuries reported.
"A thorough investigation will begin immediately."
MIC, a Cristal Global Company, is the second largest global producer of Titanium Dioxide – a chemical used in the production of paint, plastics and paper.
The leak happened in a small part of the plant, which was shut down for maintenance work.
The major incident alarm was raised and employees were evacuated into refuge areas while emergency services worked to contain the leak to one room.
The incident is likely to bring back painful memories for the family and co-workers of Immingham father Paul Doyley, who died in March 2010 after a pressurised container ruptured at the plant, releasing titanium tetrachloride liquid.
As reported, Mr Doyley suffered severe burns and died in Wakefield's Pinderfield Hospital.
Yesterday's leak did not cause a fire and there were no injuries as a result.
Sub-contractors Barrie Leak, of Linde Material Handling, and Dave Barker, of Blue Arc Welding, were among workers evacuated.
Mr Leak said: "We were working on site and heard the major incident alarm go off. We were told to get off the site. We didn't know what was going on.
"It seems to have been an incident but that is all we know. In a place like this you never know if something simple has happened or something more dangerous."
Local businesses were also contacted and told to remain in their muster points.
Steve Praton, of East Midlands Ambulance service, said: "This was potentially dangerous and we always treat incidents at any of our Control of Major Accident Hazardous sites with a high level of caution because of the nature of the chemicals."
The Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency have been notified, which is part of the firm's procedure, although they did not attend the scene.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: "We have been notified of the leak and have spoken to the company, who are keeping us updated.
"Our presence has not been required."
A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive added that while no formal investigation had been launched, inspectors were aware of the incident and were making inquiries.