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Joint Local, State, Federal Efforts Contain Thursday's Chemical Leak

The leak was deemed contained after about eight hours on scene, Fairfield Fire Department personnel said.

Fairfield emergency personnel were on scene at for eight hours, until the release was contained.

“There were no injuries, no medical complaints, and no apparent signs of environmental impact from this event,” Steve Curry said in a press release.

The town’s received a call just after 10:30 a.m. Thursday reporting an “outgassing of gallium trichloride” emitted from 5N Plus Inc., a metal and chemical manufacturer located at 515 Commerce Drive, according to the release.

The chemical was released as a visible plume of a vapor cloud and the building was evacuated. Employees were checked by emergency personnel but no injuries or medical complaints were reported.

Hazardous materials technicians “found no readings of chlorine” or other contaminants outside of the building -- where the public could have been at risk-- after initial air monitoring, Curry stated in the release. There were readings of chlorine and contaminants inside the building throughout the event, but employees of 5N Plus Inc. had been evacuated immediately.

Fairfield police issued a reverse 911 call as a precautionary measure to homes and businesses in the immediate vicinity of 5N Plus Inc., warning residents and personnel to shut windows and doors and to stay inside, according to Deputy Chief Chris Lyddy.  

Initial entry and reconnaissance into the building by 5N Plus Inc. employees and fire department technicians revealed the chemical was “being scrubbed by the engineered air handling system designed for this purpose,” Curry said.

The process was shut down over the next several hours, thanks to the combined efforts of fire department technicians, 5N Plus Inc. employees, the support of the Fairfield County Hazardous Incident Response Team, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, American Medical Response, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The leak was deemed contained by 6:30 p.m. and cleanup was turned over to 5N Plus Inc. and United Industrial Services under DEEP supervision.

“The quick action and cooperation between company representatives and federal, state and local first responders kept the emergency to a minimum and the incident contained to its building of origin, and was a great demonstration of the effectiveness of unified command,” Curry said.

Jim Eastwood April 13, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Nice JOB !!!!!! FFD !!!!!! Taxpayers Just think of the $$$$$ Savings provided by your well Trained Fire Department---That CERTAINLY OFF SETS any expenses or Tax Losses that might be incurred if this situation got out of hand !!!!!!

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