No one injured in chemical accident in Rantoul

RANTOUL – Rantoul emergency officials responded to the spill of sulfuric acid at a local automobile parts manufacturing facility Thursday morning.

Less than 25 gallons of the acid spilled at the Engineered Plastic Components plant in the 700 block of Veterans Parkway, according to Danny Russell, director of the Rantoul Emergency Services and Disaster Agency.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is monitoring the cleanup.

Russell said the accidental spill occurred as drums containing sulfuric acid were being moved from a storage building east of the No. 2 plant that borders Veterans Parkway.

"One of them leaked into the pavement and into the grassy area," Russell said.

"It didn't pose a threat to the citizens or employees," he added.

Emergency personnel were alerted to the accident about 11:50 a.m.

Russell said the acid was neutralized with a "baking soda type" of material.

Rantoul Fire Chief Ken Waters said the acid spill did not pose a wind-borne risk because the wind was from the west.

He said the wind was blowing at approximately 10 to 15 mph.

The only danger would have been if someone's skin had come in contact with the acid, Waters said.

According to an Iowa State University material safety data sheet, sulfuric acid can cause blindness and skin burns and can be fatal if the acid is heated and the resulting mist is inhaled.

Engineered Plastic Components has occupied a portion of the former Collins & Aikman manufacturing facilities in Rantoul this fall.

Telephone calls to the company and to the Illinois EPA were not immediately returned.

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (1):Environment
Categories (2):News, Environment

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