A 600 cubic metre container containing the caustic substance ruptured
A chemical plant in Oberhausen, the Ruhr region of Germany, has triggered a public health crisis after a 600 cubic metre container containing the caustic substance ruptured.
Nearby homes and businesses have been warned to keep their doors and windows shut as a noxious acid cloud was created after the spillage.
Authorities have issued an alert regarding the pollutant cloud, with an Oberhausen officer saying: "Harmful fumes may have been created which moved into a nearby commercial area.”
Police sPolice said smoke and gas were still rising from the Hamm Chemie plant after the spill on Thursday morning.
Harmful fumes may have been created
The main affected area is the district of Osterfeld and the nearby commercial area.
The Fire Brigade immediately began evacuating the industrial area Max-Eyth street.
But the deadly cloud could spread father over other parts of city depending on wind direction.
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If the wind direction stays the same, the affected areas will be limited to Klosterhardt, Tackenberg, Eisenheim, Osterfeld, Sterkrade, and Buschhausen.
In the immediate aftermath of the spill trains were diverted to avoid Oberhausen central station, and all ship traffic has been terminated.
Traffic backed up on the nearby A42 autobahn as the deadly cloud began to drift dangerously close to the motorway.
The Fire Brigade is currently using measuring vehicles to measure the pollutant levels.
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Police are so far unable to confirm when the all-clear may be given.
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Sulphuric acid is a key component of explosives, and can corrode skin and tissue in its concentrated form.
The highly corrosive liquid releases heat when mixed with water.
More to follow . . .
- Gas attack at German Reinbeker Weg school
- ‘Acid attack’ causes carnage at London station
- 'Acid' thrown at four people in series of attacks