UK: Major Gas Leak at Chemical Works in Cheshire : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Gas leak at chemical works

There has been a major gas leak at a chemical works in Cheshire.

Families living near the European Vinyl Corporation (EVC) plant in Runcorn have been advised to keep doors and windows closed and stay inside after about 18 tonnes of hydrogen chloride spilled from a storage container.

Firefighters were called to the chemical works at about 0710 GMT after reports of an explosion and a leak.

Five fire pumps were immediately sent to the scene while seven more crews and a specialist unit were deployed from a nearby back-up base down wind of the accident.

There are no reports of any casualties.

Cheshire Police spokesman, Ivor Lewis said the leak had now been temporarily sealed but he said the "shelter policy" advising people to stay indoors was likely to be in place until around 1100GMT as a precaution.

Mr Lewis said he could not confirm whether the leak had been caused by an explosion but said that some residents living nearby had reported a "whooshing or popping noise".

Cheshire fire service said they were using water "fog sprays" to dilute and disperse the hydrogen chloride cloud.

EVC, which is listed in Amsterdam, is Europe's biggest product of PVC.

A police spokesman said earlier the leak had been notified by ICI which owns a neighbouring plant.

-- Jim McAteer (, March 08, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ