Chemical leak and fire closes Manufacturers Road - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Chemical leak and fire injures one worker

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - A chemical fire at JIT Chemicals temporarily closed Manufacturers Road Friday morning.

Workers were unloading the chemical sodium hydroxide into an aluminum storage tank when it reacted to the aluminum and caught fire.

Officials stay the caustic soda was identified as a 50% solution of sodium hydroxide.

The Chattanooga Fire Department estimates 2,000-3,000 gallons of the chemical leaked but has stopped now and there is no threat to public. The tank, surrounded by an earthen dike, contained all of the spilled caustic soda.

The fire was quickly extinguished. An environmental cleanup crew on site now.

One worker was injured and transported to the hospital, where he was expected to be treated and released.

Sodium hydroxide is known in its most common form as lye.

The chemical can take various forms as a liquid, pellets, flakes or a solid.

Used in manufacturing of textiles, soaps and paper products, sodium hydroxide can burn the skin and irritate eyes,
and in some cases even cause permanent eye damage.

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