Forgot to post these amusing news articles about what happens when a tanker truck carrying fluorosilicic acid (the toxic "fluoride" that's added to
water) has an accident. Wouldn't want to contaminate the groundwater!
The Orlando Sentinel
September 7, 1994
Spill Snarls Traffic, Lives
The acid closed the road into the night, forced 2,300 from homes and sent 50 to hospitals.
By Cory Lancaster
OF THE SENTINEL STAFF
DELTONA - Jeff Carine was driving to Daytona Beach to play golf Tuesday morning when his Toyota Camry hit a mushy, snowlike liquid covering Interstate
Carine, a golfer from Windermere, assumed it was a minor chemical spill and kept driving.
Six hours later, he returned to the spot after hearing news throughout the day about one of the worst chemical spills in Volusia County's history.
A tanker truck cracked open on I-4 near Deltona shortly before 10 a.m. and released 4,500 gallons of fluorosilicic acid in one big whoosh
Early today, the highway remained closed in both directions, though officials were hopeful it would open by the morning rush hour. About 2,300 people
remained in shelters, evacuated from their homes.
The spill sent more than 50 people to hospitals with complaints of skin and respiratory irritations, including some hours after the spill. Most,
including the driver of the truck, were treated and released. Two police officers were admitted overnight to Central Florida Regional Hospital in
Sanford after complaining of headaches and burning in their throats.
Authorities were frustrated In attempts to neutralize the acid with lime and potash, which delayed I-4's reopening. Fumes also were detected late
Tuesday in the neighborhood of Deltona Woods, causing emergency workers to conduct a midnight door-to-door evacuation.
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the spill. A spokesman from Pencco Inc., the Bellville, Texas-based chemical company that owns the tanker,
would not comment on the accident late Tuesday.
The tanker truck started out from Fort Meade, south of Lakeland, about 8 a.m. Tuesday, FHP Patrol Lt. Art Brown said.
The truck driver, James Parish, 68, said he was eastbound, just west of the Howland Boulevard overpass, when the rear trailer wheels came out from
under the truck. The back of the tanker slammed onto the road and spilled the chemical over an area 600 feet long and 60 feet wide, Volusia County
Assistant Fire Chief Ron Bateman said.
A stretch of two miles of 14 was closed between Deltona and Orange City. Vehicles were rerouted off the interstate onto Saxon Boulevard from the west
and onto State Road 472 from the east
The detour meant at least an hour delay as bumper-to-bumper traffic inched along U.S. Highway 17-92 through Orange City.
"I never saw such bad traffic in my life," said Betty Casselman, who was kept from her home in the Country Village Mobile Home Park in Orange
Police, firefighters and hazardous waste experts dumped bags of lime over the contaminated area to neutralize the acid and vacuumed the residue with
Fluorosilicic is a highly corrosive acid used in the process of adding fluoride to drinking water hazardous waste experts said.
If inhaled, it can cause respiratory difficulty, burning eyes and numbness around the Ups. Upon contact with skin, it creates a burning and tingling
sensation. Symptoms can take up to 24 hours to appear, medical experts said.
The chemical evaporates quickly and is carried by the wind. Fearing a health hazard, police began evacuating homes within a mile area, including about
1,750 people in Orange City and 500 people In Deltona. Students and teachers at Deltona High School went home early.
Elaine Bennett Purvette Bryant, Lynne Bumpus-Hooper and Derek Catwn of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report.Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
The Orlando Sentinel
September 9, 1994
Agency Orders Around-The-Clock Cleanup On I-4
By Mary Murphy
OF THE SENTINEL STAFF
DELAND - As investigators try to determine the cause of a chemical spill on Interstate 4, a federal agency Thursday ordered cleanup efforts to
continue around the clock.
"They [Environmental Protection Agency officials] feel it's a significant health hazard as far as ground water," said George Gilhooley, district
maintenance engineer for the Florida Department of Transportation. "They feel it needs to be worked on continuously."
A tanker truck spilled about 4,500 gallons of fluorosilicic acid on 1-4 on Tuesday, prompting officials to evacuate residents and close a two-mile
stretch of the highway between Deltona and Orange City.
Officials of Florida Spill Response, a Cocoa-based company, say they expect to have the spill cleaned up by Saturday. The eastbound outside lane
closed at 7 P.M. Thursday and will remain closed indefinitely, state DOT spokesman Steve Homan said.
James Henderson, a hazardous materials expert with the National Transportation Safety Board, said Thursday night that several factors might have
contributed to or caused the accident:
Criminal charges might be filed if the equipment on the truck was not properly maintained, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Floyd Baker said Thursday.
James Parish, 68, of Bastrop, Texas, was driving the truck, owned by Peneco Inc. of Bellville, Texas. The license tag on the truck expired in March
1994, records state.
Michael Taylor, the on-scene coordinator for the EPA, said the agency wants the cleanup to continue nonstop until the contaminated soil has been
Experts do not know whether the ground water has been contaminated. "At any site you go to, it's always a danger," Taylor said, "especially
with bad weather." It rained most of Thursday.
The Public Health Department has advised owners of private wells in the area to have their water tested for traces of the chemical before drinking
Robert Pierce, vice president of Florida Spill Response, said he has a geologist testing the area to determine whether acid has seeped into the water
table or the aquifer.
Car washes will remain open through this evening. Those. wanting cars decontaminated must make appointments by Calling: (904) 822-6422, 822-6423 or.
822-6424.Please visit the link provided for the complete story.