Vapor Leaks at NC Chemical Plant

Monday, October 5, 2015 @ 04:10 PM gHale

A vapor leak at the Brainerd Chemical in Dunn, NC, Wednesday morning occurred during the unloading of a bulk tanker truck of hydrochloric acid.

A two-man crew was unloading a bulk tanker truck of hydrochloric acid into a stationary tank when the air created by the pumping started to escape through a malfunctioning gasket on the top of the stationary tank.

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Company President, Neil Morgan, said the crew didn’t notice it at first and operations continued for about 30 minutes before they realized a vapor cloud had formed.

At that point everything came to a halt, and first responders evacuated neighboring businesses around 9:30 a.m. as a precautionary measure.

Dunn Police also blocked off traffic along Hwy 301 at S. Clinton Ave. due to the fumes.

While hydrochloric acid could cause someone’s eyes to start burning, or irritate the throat, officials said no one suffered an injury.

On a scale of 1-10 as a threat with 10 being the highest, Morgan said, “I’d put it 1 to 2, but I don’t want to belittle the fact or give the impression that Brainerd is not concerned – we are. You know anytime there’s an issue we’re concerned like I said we take safety and the local community very serious.”