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Sunday, February 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Rail car leaking water treatment chemical closes railroad spur line for cleanup

From staff reports

The Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to a report of a hazardous materials spill Friday afternoon at Kemira Water Solutions after a rail car was reported to be leaking fluid.

A person first reported a red liquid leaking from a rail car just before 3 p.m., according to a news release. The substance was later identified as Ferric Chloride, a corrosive chemical used in water treatment.

A Kemira official told the fire department it had been leaking for about 30 minutes after a valve or pipe cracked during a routine transfer, according to a news release. A private cleanup team had responded before crews arrived.

About 6,500 gallons of material spilled into a terrain sump, which contained it and eliminated further danger, according to a news release. The Department of Ecology was notified for spill follow-up.

No firefighters were injured, according to a news release. An adjacent Union Pacific rail line was closed for three hours during the initial response and the involved spur line remained closed, only affecting Kemira rail traffic.

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