Iowa City Fire Department resonded to a potential chemical spill

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 23, 2011 7:20 AM

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Members of the Iowa City Fire Department responded Thursday to a possible chemical leak at the Iowa Interstate Railyard.

According to a press release by the ICFD, members of Iowa Interstate told first-responders they could detect a strong smell in the vicinity of two rail cars. The cars were carrying chlorosulfonic acid, which reacts violently with water to produce sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid. Workers in the yard were evacuated and a Johnson County Hazmat team was called to the scene. An emergency response team from Procter & Gamble — the car's destination — was also called.

Johnson County Ambulance Service personnel were summoned to the scene for standby, and Iowa City police directed traffic. Another engine from the ICFD was called to the scene.

Once the officials secured the scene, three members of the Procter & Gamble emergency response team entered the yard, clad in protective gear. According to the release, they found no leaks in their examination of the rail cars, noting all seals and valves remained intact.

After P&G EMT personnel exited the rail yard, control of the scene was returned to the Iowa Interstate Railroad.

One Iowa Interstate employee was transported to the hospital for evaluation. Five others were treated and released by Johnson County paramedics. No injuries were reported among emergency responders.

—By Matt Starns

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