BALTIMORE (AP) — Residents living within one mile (1.5 kilometers) of a chemical plant in Baltimore were told to stay indoors for about an hour and a half Monday after an acid spill caused a noxious cloud.
Fire department spokesman Chief Roman Clark said the spill occurred about 10:45 a.m. at the Solvay Industries plant in South Baltimore when crews were transferring chlorosulfonic acid from a tanker to a trailer.
Clark said the spill produced a "vapor cloud" that has since dissipated. There were no reported injuries, and only a small part of the plant was evacuated; all other employees were told to shelter in place.
Hazmat crews were dispatched to the scene, and although the spill had been placed under control by early afternoon on Monday, residents were urged to shelter in place for another hour.
Cellphone alerts were sent to residents within the affected area, including an alert about 2 p.m. telling residents it was safe to leave their homes.
Chlorosulfonic acid is used as a raw material in the production of soaps and detergents, said Solvay Industries spokesman David Klucsik.
If inhaled, it can cause a sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and a burning sensation, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says on its website.