Mobile fire working hazmat situation at Kemira Water Solutions

Mobile County

UPDATE 6:55 p.m.

Mobile Fire-Rescue officials say the hazardous material scene at Kemira Water Solutions has stabilized following early afternoon emergency response. 

Here is the statement issued by Kemira:

“At approximately 11:05 CT, a tanker of acrylamide monomer 50% solution arrived onsite to our Mobile, Alabama manufacturing plant. Our personnel noted the temperature was rising and moved the tank to an isolation area for containment and to monitor the temperature. At 11:56, 911 was called and Fire Department was dispatched.

Upon arrival by Fire Department, all employees were requested to report to designated assembly area and no evacuation of the site was recommended. Three unmanned water monitors were added to the tank over the course of the incident to bring the temperature down. The container remains in isolation while efforts to bring the temperature down to a normal level continue.

At 13:10, the fire department initiated a local evacuation in Chickasaw, downwind from the site as a precautionary measure and the evacuation was lifted at 15:20. No other businesses or communities were evacuated and Kemira personnel remained on site.”

Mobile Fire-Rescue Department HazMat crews remain on site and on standby as Kemira staff continues to monitor tanker temperatures. Remaining companies and resources have been released to return to service.

UPDATE 4:40 p.m.

The mayor of Chickasaw has announced an “all clear” in the Kemira Water Solutions hazmat situation.

Evacuation order lifted.  

UPDATE 2:20 pm 

According to Mobile Fire-Rescue, residents living south of Viaduct Road and east of Telegraph Road are being evacuated to Chickasaw Civic Center due to the hazmat situation. 

The following statement is from Mobile Fire Rescue on the hazmat situation: 

Mobile Fire-Rescue Department and Kemira Water Solutions staff are still working diligently to cool a pressurized tank filled with acrylamide. The tank has vented a few times, and the substance is attempting to stabilize itself. Chickasaw Police Department and Chickasaw Fire Department are currently evacuating residential neighborhoods south of Viaduct Road and east of Telegraph Road. Evacuees are being safely directed to the Chickasaw Community Center. Mobile County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) are also coordinating with the American Red Cross to offer assistance for evacuated residents.

The following statement was released by Kemira Water Solutions: 

“At approximately 12:45 pm local time, a container of a monomer raw material used in our manufacturing process overheated at our Mobile, Alabama site. Our crisis management procedure was initiated immediately and there is no risk to the site, employees or surrounding community. No evacuation is necessary.  The Fire Brigade responded immediately and is on site cooling down the container. Safety is a top priority at Kemira and we are currently working with our site management and the Fire Brigade to ensure the situation is contained. We will share any additional information as it is available.”

UPDATE 1:55 pm

Roy Forson, the maintenance manager with Kemira Water Solutions spoke to News 5 this afternoon. Forson says the company received a container of raw materials that became too hot and has a stability issue. The incident began around 10:00 this morning, as crews were taking regular temperature readings in the tank and noticed the temperature was rising and action needed to be taken.  Forson says the plant’s on-site fire brigade began working to cool the tank.

According to the company’s maintenance manager, the situation is under control and there are no evacuation efforts underway. Forson added there is no risk to people on-site or in the surrounding area. 

ORIGINAL STORY 1:44 pm

Mobile fire has crews on standby for a potential hazmat situation at Kemira Water Solutions in the Plateau community. It’s happening at Kemira Water Solutions on Cyanamid Road.

Mobile fire says they responded to a call that a tank of the chemical acrylamide was overheating and requested water to help cool the tank to prevent a potential rupture.  There is reported to be 45,000 pounds of the chemical in the tank.

This story is still developing. Stay with News 5 for more information.

According to NOAA acrylamide can have a violent reaction when it gets too hot and it “is a white crystalline solid shipped either as a solid or in solution. A confirmed carcinogen. Toxic by skin absorption. Less dense than water and soluble in water. May be toxic by ingestion. Used for sewage and waste treatment, to make dyes, adhesives. The solid is stable at room temperature, but upon melting may violently polymerize. Toxic, irritating to skin, eyes, etc.”

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