Last week, in the far south Baltimore neighborhood of Curtis Bay, an accident at a chemical factory released a huge cloud of chlorosulfonic acid – a gas that can burn the lungs and even be fatal.
Longshoreman Kasimir Kowalski was working nearby. “A truck of chemicals inadvertently pulled off with the line still hooked up, and ripped the line and the chemicals came out and hit the ground and that’s why you got the flume,” he said.
The Baltimore Fire Department issued a “shelter in place” warning. City officials told 18,000 households within a mile radius of the Solvay Inc. USA chemical plant at 3440 Fairfield Road in Baltimore to remain indoors, close their windows, and try to avoid contact with the toxic yellow cloud drifting over the city.
No serious injuries were reported. But several Curtis Bay residents were angry about the lack of effective safety procedures and good public information about the numerous chemical and industrial plants that surround their homes.