CHICAGO--Dozens of people evacuated because of a leak of nitric acid : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

CHICAGO--Dozens of people were evacuated from their homes Tuesday and thousands of train commuters were stalled because of a leak of nitric acid at a factory. No injuries were reported. Firefighters were able to quickly contain the leak on the West Side but hadn't determined what started it, fire department spokesman Will Knight said. Firefighters were called to Krel Laboratories about 7:40 a.m. and found nitric acid leaking from a tank, fire department spokesman Will Knight said. The acid formed an orange cloud that hung over the area for more than an hour. "We started to evacuate a half-mile each way, north, south, east, west, from the area," Knight said. Authorities also urged news media helicopters to stay at least one mile away. The factory is next to a major Metra suburban commuter rail line and near Chicago Transit Authority elevated tracks. "We were taking care of some parts and a little reaction happened. It's no big deal. ... The main thing is that nobody got hurt," said Mike Mitchell, the factory owner's son. Four Metra trains carrying about 3,000 commuters were stopped on the tracks, some for more than an hour, said spokeswoman Audrey Renteria. Metra also bused some commuters to other rail lines to get around the problem, she said. CTA trains on the elevated tracks also were stopped for a time. Nitric acid is often used to clean metals. Inhaling its fumes can cause shortness of breath, abdominal pain and dizziness, and prolonged exposure can damage the mouth, throat and stomach.

-- PHO (, July 25, 2000


An "Orange Cloud" that hung over the area for an hour?

That sounds like a major problem, soft-peddled, as usual, by the media.

-- JackW (, July 25, 2000.

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