Chemical spill causes road closure, class suspension

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Friday, September 5, 2014

DAVAO. A worker covers his nose as he is exposed to the fume of the formic acid while trying to clean it after their company’s parked container van carrying the said chemical overturned along C. Bangoy St. Thursday. (King Rodriguez)


DAVAO City’s C. Bangoy Street was temporarily closed early morning Thursday when a container van with hazardous chemical parked in front of Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Central Elementary School (KTMSCES) spilled some of its contents on the area.

Fire Inspector Johan Alagaban, Station commander of Bangoy Fire Station, identified the chemical as formic acid which is a component used to harden rubber and can also irritate the lungs when inhaled and the skin when in contact.

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"Actually naa sa emergency response guide book namo na before ka muduol sa ing-ani nga spill dapat naa kay (before going near the spilled area you should have a) breathing apparatus tapos bawal ang contact sa skin kay naay acid so maka-cause siya ug (skin contact should be avoided because it has acid and it can cause) respiratory irritations ug hapdos pud siya sa mata (and it can irritate the eyes)," Alagaban said.

He said that they received the reports around 1:55 a.m. and immediately responded together with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) personnel and the central fire station to collect and dispose the said hazardous material.

The owner of the said container van, said Alagaban, was from Sasa wharf and parked at the area to be filled with formic acid for delivery to Maramag, Bukidnon.

"Ang giparkingan man gud sa container van kato iyahang support niya nilapos kay humok man to siya na part sa dalan unya nag-spill ang chemical nila (the area where the container van was parked gave up, spilling the chemicals on the road)," he said.

According to him, the van contained 800 containers where each container has 25 liters of formic acid.

Albagan said that the container van had proper documents and the only violation that they can see for the incident is reckless imprudence.

"With regards sa ano (violation), naa may markings ang container, identified man siya dayon. So if wala siyay marking ug traveling papers violation na to siya dayon pero naa man silay gipakita na travel documents (With regard to violation, the container had markings, it can be immediately identified. So if it did not contain markings and traveling papers it would be a violation but they had presented travel documents)," he said.

Moreover, Alabagan said that they placed sand on the area where the chemical were spilled in order to contain it and also for easy disposal.
They also sped up collecting the hazardous chemical yesterday in order to prevent it from going to the water systems when it rains.

The officials who responded also declared to suspend classes at KTMSCES and asked the public to avoid the area because of the fumes from the spilled chemical.

Alagaban also said that they will resume classes once they have completely disposed off the spilled chemical.

He added C. Bangoy Street was opened around 10 a.m. Thursday.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 05, 2014.

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