Chemical leak containing hydrochloric acid forces Essex schools to shut
7 January 2020, 12:28
Locals have been told to stay inside with their windows shut for safety.
On Monday 6th January, at around 4:20 in the afternoon, there was a chemical leak in West Thurrock.
There was an acid spill including hazardous chemicals from an industrial unit on Stoneness Road in the South of Essex.
Following the leak, six fire crews reportedly arrived at the scene, and have now set up a 100-metre exclusion zone for local residents and workers.
It has been confirmed by the emergency services that the leaked fumes contain hydrochloric acid.
Three Essex schools in the area – Purfleet, West Thurrock, Chafford Hundred – have been closed as a precaution after the Essex County Fire and Rescue said the fumes are a "minor irritant".
Essex County Fire and Rescue also advised locals to be safe and stay inside.
Area manager at the fire service, Neil Fenwick, said in a statement: "We understand that the cloud includes an amount of hydrochloric acid.
"A 100-metre exclusion zone was created at the site earlier today as a precautionary measure.
"We now know that these fumes were caused by a tank that has failed, the leak is contained to within the site.
"Emergency services are working hard to make the site safe again as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience. Road closures around the site continue to remain in place.
"If you live nearby, the advice is that you should stay inside and keep all windows and doors closed."