Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hundreds Evacuated following Altona chemical spill, Australia - 12th Oct 2011

HUNDREDS of workers were forced to evacuated Mobil's Altona refinery after a foul-smelling chemical spill.

Fire crews raced to the scene soon after 4.30pm as residents as far away as Sunshine reported the smell of gas emanating from the plant.

At least one resident in an aged care home was treated after she was overcome by fumes.

Just before 6pm, Exxon Mobil released a statement saying the strong odour was the result of a spill involving about 1-2 litres of a foul-smelling sulphur compound, believed to include hydrogen sulphide, also known as "rotten egg gas".

"Around 4.30pm during maintenance at the Altona refinery, around 1–2 litres of water containing sulphur compounds was released to the sewer," the company said.

"This resulted in a rotten-egg type smell being inadvertently released. There is no danger to people and environment.

"We are notifying our neighbours and we regret any inconvenience."

Residents have been advised to stay inside, close their windows and switch off air-conditioning during the incident. Read More