Local News

Morrisville Road Reopens After Chemical Spill

Posted June 26, 2001

— The scene of a chemical spill has been cleared and traffic is once again moving along International Drive in Morrisville.

Workers at a neighboring business saw a smoke cloud forming at the Thomas Concrete plant around 3:30 a.m.

What turned out to be a vapor cloud was caused by a concentrated hydrochloric acid.

"There is a plant behind us that manufactures concrete. In their process of cleaning out their concrete trucks, they use a acid solution to remove the concrete out of the large tubs on the back of the trucks. One of the containers that holds 150 gallons of this acid has leaked. The entire contents have leaked out of the container onto the ground," says Capt. Peter Brock of the Raleigh Hazardous Materials Response Team.

The chemical is harmful when inhaled or when it contacts the skin. Hazmat crews spent the morning spraying lime to neutralize the acid.

The Morrisville Fire Department was first called out when it was thought the plant was on fire. Crews quickly realized the cloud of smoke was a release of hazardous materials.

The leak was contained about 6 a.m. and the road was reopened to traffic at 8:25 a.m.

Crews say Tuesday morning's humidity hampered efforts.

The affected area is near Aviation Parkway and International Drive, near the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The airport and Interstate 40 traffic are not affected.

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