BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A dangerous chemical spills in Baltimore and created a toxic acid cloud over some neighborhoods, forcing some people to shelter inside their homes for two hours.
The cloud threatened neighborhoods near a chemical plant and caused everyone to shelter in place.
With Sky Eye Chopper 13 over the scene, workers were transferring the raw material when something went wrong.
Fire officials say chlorosulfonic acid escaped into the air as it was being transferred from a tanker to a trailer.
“Something went wrong, which caused a leak. When this leak was created, it did create somewhat of a vapor cloud,” says Chief Roman Clark, with Baltimore Fire.
A plume of acid cloud appeared over the Curtis Bay area. The acid carries a strong odor and is used to make soap and detergents.
A consumer watchdog group said the fumes could cause serious health problems.
“This is an acid with high enough exposure can cause damage to the eyes, burning in the nose, throat,” says Emily Starr, with Maryland Public Interest Research Group.
Anyone within a one-mile radius was warned to shelter in place. Some people even received emergency alerts on their phones.
“It was like scary because I have a newborn baby, so I was thinking like wow. So we have had the air conditions in the windows and things like that. I was checking the house make sure the windows were closed. It was scary,” says Diamond Henley from Curtis Bay.
The business in charge of the site did not know how much of the chemical escaped. And even though no injuries were reported
some people who live within that one-mile radius were concerned.
“I’m not really too sure about what all it was, what chemicals it was; I just know that if it was harmful enough for people to have to close our windows and stay inside, that they don’t need to be anywhere near it.”
A spokesperson for the company says details of what happened were not confirmed, but they’re investigating.
The shelter in place was lifted within two hours.