Hazmat incident in Monroe contained

Firefighters discover two 55-gallon drums leaking and emitting vapors on Seven Springs Road

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  • Photo provided by Monroe Fire Chief Daniel Bennet The Monroe Fire Department called in the Orange County Hazardous Materials Team and Hazmat technicians from the West Point Fire Department to assist in containing two 55-gallon drums on Seven Springs Road that were leaking and emitting a vapors. One drum contained sodium borohydride and the other nitric acid, according to Monroe Fire Chief Daniel Bennet.

KIRYAS JOEL — Monroe Fire Chief Daniel Bennet released the following report last Thursday morning as The Photo News was going to the printer:

• On Wednesday, July 6, at 8:53 p.m. the Kiryas Joel Fire Department took a direct call for a reported smoke investigation in the area of 94 Seven Springs Road.

• Monroe Fire Department was immediately dispatched. Upon arrival of first units on the property two 55 gallon drums were located.

• Upon a quick investigation it was determined that both drums were leaking and emitting a vapor.

• Monroe Fire Department immediately requested contact with Orange County Hazardous Materials Team duty officer and quickly upgraded their response to the scene.

• Also requested to the scene to assist in mitigation was West Point Fire Department with Hazmat technicians.

• It was soon determined that one drum was sodium borohydride and the other nitric acid.

• Technicians from Orange County Hazmat and West Point worked quickly to contain the leak and prevent any further damage to people or the environment.

• From initial time of call to placing this situation under control was approximately three and one half hours.

• Also assisting at the scene was Kiryas Joel Fire Department for fire police, Florida Fire Department for decontamination, Office of the Fire Coordinator, New York State Police, Orange County Sheriffs Office, Mobile Life, Monroe EMS, Kiryas Joel Public Safety and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

According to Pubchem, the open chemistry database:

Sodium borohydride is a white to grayish crystalline powder. It is decomposed by water to form sodium hydroxide, a corrosive material, and hydrogen, a flammable gas. The heat of this reaction may be sufficient to ignite the hydrogen. The material itself is easily ignited and burns vigorously once ignited. It is used to make other chemicals, treat waste water, and for many other uses.

Nitric acid (HNO3) is a colorless liquid that is used in the manufacture of inorganic and organic nitrates and nitro compounds for fertilizers, dye intermediates, explosives, and many different organic chemicals. Continued exposure to vapor may cause chronic bronchitis; chemical pneumonitis may occur.

Why the drums were there in the first place could not be learned at press time. Check thephoto-news.com for updates on this story.

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