, Newburyport, MA

October 7, 2010

Gas accident causes evacuation at Amesbury company

The Daily News of Newburyport

AMESBURY — Firefighers are working to contain a chemical accident at an industrial business that has forced the building to be evacuated, and a nearby road to be closed.

At 10:30 a.m. this morning a defective sprinkler system broke inside the Durasol Drug and Chemical Company on Oakland Street, according to Fire Chief Jon Brickett. The water came in contact with an open container of sulfur monochloride, a dry form of sulfuric acid that reacts violently when combined with water.

The reaction released a toxic gas that can cause pain, sore throat, burning sensations and labored breathing.

The building has been evacuated, and there were no injuries. None of the nearby buildings have been evacuated, although a section of the street has been shut down.

Several fire companies and the state’s hazardous waste team have been sent to the scene. Bricket said they are assessing the best and safest way to remove the gas.

Durasol is a locally-based company that produces concrete additive, denture adhesive, gum erasers, cleaning solutions, eyeglass cleaners, and related products. It’s located in the heart of the Carriage Hill industrial area, a collection of brick buildings that were once key to the town’s carriagemaking past, but are now being used for other commercial purposes.

The area is located about a quarter mile east of downtown Amesbury.

The Daily News will update the situation as it develops.