Chemical Leak Causes Vapor Cloud - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/27/05

Chemical Leak Causes Vapor Cloud

A chemical leak at a Savannah plant has some nearby residents a little concerned. The leak happened around 7am this morning at the Arboris plant next to International Paper. The chemical is called Therminol, a heat transfer liquid. The plant manager say it was contained in about an hour's time.

But there could still be some lingering health concerns.

A vapor cloud hovered over the plant for about an hour. You could see it for miles; we captured this image from our WTOC Skycam.

Bill Gibson works at the P&O machine shop across the street from the plant. "I thought it was a fire this morning but I come to find out a little later it was a chemical leak," he said.

The question on many people's minds: what was in that big white vapor cloud? "Primarily water vapor, but there was probably some of the heat transfer fluid also within that water vapor," said plant manager Mike Husain.

The heat transfer fluid Therminal causes respiratory problems. The plant is making sure their people--and people who live and work nearby in the Hudson Hill community--are safe.

People from the plant are going door to door to let people know about the leak and tell them to look out for a brown substance that could show up on the side of their house or car. That means that Therminol had contaminated the area.

"We'll be on the lookout for it for sure," said Gibson. "There's been a couple of fires over there that we really kept our eye on also."

Arboris says they will be monitoring the situation over the next several days.

A large part of Lathrop Avenue was blocked off this morning until the crew could get the leak under control.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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