Case Study – Haulage
NCEC received a call from a Fire Station Commander who was attending a road traffic collision, which had resulted in a tanker rolling over. The tanker contained over 10 tonnes of liquid fertiliser and had ruptured in two places causing it to leak. The caller was planning on committing officers to see if it was possible to stop the leak with putty.
The leaking tanker was located in the vicinity of a river and our Emergency Responder highlighted the importance of preventing contamination of the river and containing the material as far as was possible. The caller was aware of the environmental hazards posed by the material and had already contacted the Environment Agency. The fertiliser was identified purely by a commercial name, which gave no indication of the composition. The Emergency Responder provided general advice on the different types of fertilisers that could be involved and risks associated with them, including the environmental hazards and the risks to fire officers trying to stop the leak. The Emergency Responder highlighted the oxidising properties of some fertilisers and the requirement for thorough decontamination of fire kit if these types of fertiliser were involved. The Emergency Responder also provided advice on suitable methods for cleaning up the leaked material.
Immediate access to in-depth chemical knowledge means that the incident can be dealt with in a calm and informed manner with all the risks and environmental aspects considered.