Chlorine leak at Hillen Road water filtration plant

2 workers exposed, incident 'shouldn't affect water supply'

August 06, 2012|By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun

A chlorine leak at Montebello Filtration Plant No. 2 on Hillen Road in Baltimore Monday morning sent two workers to the hospital, according to a city public works spokesman.

The leak occurred around 9:30 a.m. Monday and two workers who were exposed to the chemical were taken to local hospitals, public works spokesman Kurt Kocher said. He could not comment on their condition. Approximately 15-to-20 people working in the plant at the time were evacuated, he said.

Baltimore City firefighters and HAZMAT workers capped the leak, which Kocher said appeared to be caused by a faulty cap on one of the plant's out-of-service filtration cylinders. The lead caps are built to melt in the case of a fire and release the chlorine to avoid an explosion, Kocher said. The malfunctioning cap appeared to have released the chemical prematurely, Kocher said.

Kocher said because the cylinder in question was not in use, the leak did not escape to the environment or the neighboring community.

"It wasn't even in service," he said. "That tank was stored for future use."

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