An investigation is now underway, to determine the cause of a chemical spill at a plant on Tucson's south east side.
Tucson Fire Capt. Jeff Langejans tells Tucson News Now, at approximately 2:30 a.m. Saturday, an operator from Sasol North America's plant near I-10 and S. Kolb Rd. noticed that hydrochloric acid (HCl) was pooling in a spill containment area.
Workers determined that a 12,000 gallon HCl above-ground storage tank was leaking at a rate of five gallons per minute. This chemical is a 35% solution and is extremely corrosive, according to Langejans.
Crews began off-loading the tank, which had approximately 9000 gallons. Approximately 4000 gallons of the liquid had been spilled into the secondary containment area.
Langejans says TFD responded just after 5:00 a.m. to provide backup support. They set up a 200 foot perimeter and observed plant operations until the leaking tank was emptied into other storage tanks
There were no injuries to employees or firefighters.
Sasol North America's Tucson plant manufactures ultrahigh purity alumina via a process that utilizes HCl.
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