Chemical spill – 3 employees treated, released

alt

Newnan Fire Department personnel donned special protective suits as they responded to a chemical spill at the CLM waste transfer station on Werz Industrial Boulevard off the bypass Wednesday morning.

By ELIZABETH MELVILLE elizabeth@newnan.com A chemical spill at the CLM waste transfer station on Werz Industrial Boulevard Wednesday morning sent three employees to the hospital for evaluation. Newnan Fire Department responded to the call, and the spill was ultimately cleaned up by a professional hazardous materials company, according to Newnan Fire Department Battalion Chief Denise Freeman.
The incident occurred just after 10 a.m. at 129 Werz Industrial Boulevard -- a CLM Sanitation-operated transfer station where waste is sorted and shipped to various locations. The call was dispatched as a possible fire that began as the result of chemicals that had been mixed together. Newnan Engine 1 was the first to arrive at the scene. Firefighters reported finding a white vapor coming from the building. Sgt. Bart Henson ordered three employees to evacuate the immediate vicinity, according to Freeman. One of the employees reported that he was moving a pile of debris when it began smoking. Assuming it was a fire, he poured water on it, but the debris started "popping and smoking more," according to Freeman. Those three employees were decontaminated at the scene and then transported to Piedmont Newnan Hospital where they were treated and released after a brief evaluation, according to Freeman. Two firefighters -- Travis Hall and Ryan Brodowski -- performed reconnaissance on the site and reported one 55-gallon drum and one 5-gallon pail in the pile of debris emitting the white smoke. A fire department team dressed in full protective hazardous materials suits investigated the situation. Firefighters discovered that the 55-gallon drum had a label on it identifying the chemical inside as sodium hydroxide. The fire department determined that the 5-gallon pail contained calcium hypochlorite after evidence was analyzed at the haz-mat command post, according to Freeman. The department also learned that the calcium hypochlorite had leaked into the large debris piles, causing the chemical reaction. "The entry team was able to move both containers away from the debris piles to prevent further contamination," said Freeman. Fire officials made the decision at that point to call Rhino Services -- a professional hazardous materials decontamination company -- to remove the debris piles from the building. "The two individual chemicals are stable when isolated, but it is highly probable they are much more volatile when combined," said Freeman. "Additionally, it was unknown what other chemicals might have been in the debris pile." Rhino Services arrived at the scene just before 1 p.m. After an assessment of the scene, employees discovered chlorine tables, fertilizer bags and lime bags in the debris. Newnan Fire Department remained on the scene to provide assistance until just after 3 p.m. when Rhino completed its initial clean-up of the site and all danger of fire or other chemical reactions was eliminated.


More Local

10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. MARATHON IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS TO EN ... Read More


Grey Matters dinner filled with insight, laughter

The Grey Matters dinner event, held at The Newnan Centre on Friday, brought a unique perspective to those in attendance. Cowetans were given ... Read More


Mwangaza Children's Choir

Small voices have big impact

Registered in the United States as a non-profit organization, the Africa Renewal Ministries sponsors a ministry outreach which brings the Mw ... Read More


Plant Yates to shut down coal units by mid-April

Georgia Power Plant Yates will officially stop burning coal no later than April 15. Units 1-5 have already stopped being used for “nor ... Read More


major bills still in play

Legislative session almost over

The 2015 Georgia General Assembly session is almost over. There are two more “legislative days” in the session: Tuesday and Thur ... Read More

NTH Turns 150

Family of editor Cates visits first lady

Adolphus Boardman Cates, who published The Newnan Herald for six years in the late 1800s, was a man with many business interests. In additio ... Read More