Local News

Acid Spill Site Clear and Under Control

Posted June 28, 2007
Updated June 29, 2007

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— A sulfuric acid leak at a north Raleigh pharmaceutical products plant prompted authorities to urge nearby residents to stay indoors Thursday afternoon.

The last of the Hazmat trucks left the Mallinckrodt Chemical plant at 8801 Capital Blvd., and the situation was clear and under control around 6:30 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.

Now the focus, at least for the company, is how it all started.

Fifteen thousand gallons of sulfuric acid leaked from a storage tank at the North Raleigh facility.

Employees discovered the leak at 7:05 a.m. Thursday morning, but it took more than 11 hours to remove the excess acid. Part of the problem, according to firefighters, was that they had to wait for special pumping trucks to arrive from Greensboro.

Overall, crews said all safety procedures worked properly. The sulfuric acid was contained to a small area near the back of the facility, but the main concern was the weather.

The spill caused no immediate injuries, and there were fewer people at the plant than normal, about 140 people total. The plant was previously scheduled to be in shut down mode this week, according to plant officials.

Even with fewer people around, authorities feared the prospect of rain Thursday afternoon reacting with the acid to produce toxic fumes.

As a precaution, two Wake County Schools, a preschool and at least one business were forced to evacuate. Residents in a nearby apartment complex were told to stay inside.

Mallinckrodt also sent home all non-essential personnel as a precaution, said Kathy Akroyd, a spokeswoman for the state Division of Waste Management, which responded to the spill.

By Thursday evening's rush hour, things started getting back to normal. Businesses re-opened and residents were told they could go back outside.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Mr. Joe Jun 29, 2007

    Does the plant have a UNION to protect the employees?

  • Mister Jim Jun 29, 2007

    The smoke clouds are coming from the smoke stacks everyday. A neighbor of mine just told me that Tyco/Mallinckrodt burns TOXIC waste and whatever is left over they dump it on their fields.

  • Riddickfield Jun 29, 2007

    That was burlington mills across the river that killed the trees. That was an old dye and finish mill with lots of nasty chemicals. Those got into the ground and the trees started to get poisioned and died. That mill is now closed and the DMV has an office there.

    As for the fence, the city took that down when they widened the road and when Mallinckrodt tried to put it up all the housewives in the area called the media. Go figure. Putting a fence back up that had been there for 40 years, who would have thought it was a problem. Of course '5 on your side' sensationalized the whole thing.

    Finally the smoke clouds are likely from the fire training they conduct out there just in case the real thing happens. Its part of the safety program. They have a fire training area and burn different materials to train people how to extinguish them.

  • tmedlin Jun 29, 2007

    First of all, the "leak" was NOT at the plant on Durant Road, it was at the plant on Capital Blvd. Second, the leak didn't get outside the plant, it was contained within the plant within the safety systems as designed, according to my sources. The city took appropriate steps, probably in excess of what was required, to ensure the safety of the public. They didn't even evacuate the employees at the plant on Durant Road - I think the city was just not taking any chances after the problem in Apex last year. They are owned by Tyco, and someone should have spoken to the media - don't know why that didn't happen - bad PR...

  • Mister Jim Jun 29, 2007

    I remember they did kill a lot of trees. They also put up the fence along Durant without a permit and had to remove it a few years back. What other toxic chemicals do they have? Can someone lookup this information on their website? They are burning something onsite, I can see the smoke clouds from my neighborhood. Is our air and ground water safe? Who is the Plant Manager responsible for this plant? Why didn't they speak to the media and answer questions?

  • Mr. Joe Jun 29, 2007

    Isn't this the company that released a toxic cloud that killed their trees by Capital Blvd several years ago?

  • Mr. Joe Jun 29, 2007

    Is is safe?

  • Arkansas Razorback Jun 29, 2007

    I thought the company was Tyco now.

  • lahnee42 Jun 29, 2007

    Only in NC....

  • gfwot Jun 29, 2007

    shine said: It is scary to think that they are making something at a pharm. plant that we might have prescriptions for that needs a HAZMAT truck to haul it off.

    They make APAP. ...main ingredient in Tylenol.