Open Valve Leads to Methanol Spill

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 @ 06:12 PM gHale

A valve left open spilled over 20,000 gallons of liquid methanol in the 1000 block of South Front Street in Wilmington, NC, Sunday night.

A caller reported the spill at 10:08 p.m. near the Colonial Terminals Company, according to a fire dispatcher.

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Chief David Hines with the Wilmington Fire Department said a ship was pumping methanol into a Colonial Terminal tank. A valve mistakenly ended up left open which caused the tank to overfill and spill onto the property.

The liquid methanol remained contained on the property of Colonial Terminal due to berms located on site. In addition, fire crews sprayed 20,000 gallons of foam to blanket and suppress unsafe vapors.

Fire crews were on scene until 9 a.m. Monday monitoring the liquid methanol to make sure no unsafe vapors released.

Hines said there was no need to evacuate residents.

The Wilmington Fire Department reopened South Front Street and the Front Street off-ramp on the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge at 9 a.m. Monday.