Storage rack collapses, causing chemical spill

Storage rack collapses, causing chemical spill

KLANG:A rubber glove factory’s decision to use an unsuitable storage rack proved costly when it broke and caused chemicals to spill in an incident at the Meru Industrial Park today.

Selangor Fire and Rescue Department assistant director Hafisham Mohd Noor said his department was alerted to the incident at about 6.30 pm and deployed a fire engine from the Kapar Fire Station and a Shah Alam Hazardous Materials Unit (Hazmat) team to the scene.

“Upon arrival, we found that a three-storey industrial storage rack had collapsed, causing the chemical containers placed on each shelf to crush a storage barrel containing 1,500 litres of sodium hydroxide on the ground floor. The load caused the barrel to burst and spill the chemical.

“An inspection found that the rack was unsuitable for that purpose and the excess amount of chemicals stored on each shelf caused its failure to bear the load,” he told reporters when met at the scene tonight.

Initial inspections also found that the factory had kept the chemicals in the wrong order as it was not separated according to the type as recommended.

He noted that this could make it difficult for firefighters to undertake safety measures in the event of emergencies.

Hafisham said the factory had been advised to change the rack during a visit last week to avoid any untoward incidents and today’s incident showed that it had failed to comply.

“We have taken early steps by spraying sand and making a sand wall to stop the chemical from spreading outside the factory or into the drainage system.

“The Hazmat team with the help of the factory is also trying to remove the chemicals to a safer place and carry out cleaning-up operations. It will take some time but so far the situation is under control,” he said.

He said no casualties were reported in the incident.


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