Toxic Vapor Leak From Central Jersey Plant Declared Contained

Source: Daily Voice New Jersey; NJ.com

Nearly 200 gallons of an extremely potent vapor was leaked from a Central Jersey chemical plant, causing a near-lockdown for residents this weekend.

The titanium tetrachloride (TiCl) leaked from a distillation column at LyondellBasell on Meadow Road around 8:30 p.m., officials said. The situation was deemed under control around 10 p.m. TiCl is a volatile liquid that forms opaque clouds of titanium dioxide and hydrated hydrogen chloride after making contact with humid air.

“The leak involved a product used as a catalyst for the production of plastic,” a company spokeswoman said. “The leak is isolated and contained, and no one was injured as a result of this incident.”

The facility is equipped with a state-of-the-art leak detection system, which deployed water immediately, the spokeswoman said.

The area was determined to be safe after the town earlier alerted residents to stay indoors.

The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. at the LyondellBasell facility on Meadow Road, officials said.

“Edison FD & PD advise that the situation on Meadow Road is now over and deemed safe by local and state officials on the scene. Residents no longer need to Shelter in place and CAN open their doors, windows and use their air conditioners,” an email alert sent by the township said.

A spokeswoman for LyondellBasell said the plant experienced a leak from a distillation column.

“The leak involved a product used as a catalyst for the production of plastic,” company spokeswoman Megan Borchers said in an email. “The leak is isolated and contained, and no one was injured as a result of this incident.

“Our plant is equipped with a state-of-the-art leak detection and deluge system which deployed water as soon as the release occurred. Our on-site incident response team was immediately activated. Unfortunately, the leak resulted in a visible cloud, which has since dissipated,” the spokeswoman said.

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