Firefighters tackle chemical spill

Chemical Spill in Stowmarket
Chemical Spill in Stowmarket
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FIRE crews were called to a Stowmarket paint factory yesterday after thousands of litres of a potentially flammable solvent leaked from a reactor vessel.

A total of 45 firefighters and eight appliances from Stowmarket, Elmswell, Bury St Edmunds, Ixworth, Ipswich East and Ipswich Princes Street attended the incident just after 2pm at PPG Industries UK Ltd on Needham Road.

A blanket of foam the size of half a football pitch was used to contain the leak and ten workers were evacuated from the site.

Mark Sanderson, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “Crews have been on site since 2pm and have laid a blanket of foam over a quantity of spilled solvent. This escaped from a reactor vessel.

“Crews have covered an area approximately half the size of a football pitch with foam, which is designed ...to prevent flammable vapours from being released.

“The leak has been stopped and ignition sources in the area have been isolated.”

Firefighers at the scene worked closely with the site’s fire service and the site chemist to tackle the spill.

Ian Bowell, Group Commander of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “This incident has been contained on site thanks to the work of the on site staff at PPG and Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.

“During the incident we have worked closely with the Environment Agency and are pleased to say that all internal drainage systems have done their job containing any contaminated water on site for removal at a later date. Once again we would like to thank all involved for their co-operation during this prolonged and at times complex incident.”

Fire crews left the scene at 10.04pm.