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Chemical drum spill causes chaos at Gloucestershire factory

Workers at a Gloucestershire factory were evacuated on Monday after a chemical storage drum became unstable and released a noxious vapour cloud.

In excess of 35 fire fighters were called to the scene at Dowty Propellers in Staveton at around 3:30pm on Monday. An adverse chemical reaction in the drum created an environment in which the drum could burst and spill hazardous liquid across a workshop area. The reaction also created a toxic vapour cloud.

The Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service Environmental Protection Unit attended the scene and were supported by the Great Western Ambulance Service and Gloucestershire Police.

Simon McMillan the group Fire service manager stated:

“When factory staff realised they had a problem, they acted responsibly in evacuating the factory and calling for help. Firefighters in gas-tight protective suits were able to bring the drum into a situation in which it bursting could be contained and it could be cooled. The combined efforts of the emergency services, using specialist but vital equipment, supported by chemists from the factory brought this incident to a satisfactory conclusion, thankfully without injury to people or damage to the environment.”

Specialist crews from Stroud and Cirencester also attended the scene and used their specialist knowledge at spill containment and clean-up to protect the surrounding environment.

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