Chemical leak prompts evacuation in Melbourne factory   2011-10-07 15:26:04 FeedbackPrintRSS

MELBOURNE, Australia, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- A nitric acid leak in a factory on Friday led to evacuation of workers in Melbourne, Australia, Country Fire Authority (CFA) said.

CFA said 14 crews were working to contain the leak at the Cadbury Schweppes factory in Scoresby.

Fifteen people were originally evacuated from the factory early on Friday afternoon and about 60 workers from surrounding factories were then also evacuated.

"As the factory has released a cloud of high irritant vapor, CFA put out a warning for people to stay indoors, close all windows and turn off air conditioning." the CFA spokeswoman told reporters. "CFA crew members are investigating the leak and are fitted with gas suits."

The spokeswoman said at this stage there were no reports of injuries.

Nitric acid is a highly corrosive and toxic acid. Concentrated nitric acid and its vapors are highly corrosive to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Dilute solutions cause mild skin irritation and hardening of the epidermis.

Editor: Yamei Wang
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