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15 injured after truck spills nitric acid onto streets of south Berlin

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15 injured after truck spills nitric acid onto streets of south Berlin
The truck on the side of the A24 highway during the big cleanup. Photo: DPA.
15:43 CEST+02:00
A leaky truck was discovered to have spilled 900 litres of nitric acid onto the streets of a south Berlin neighbourhood on Wednesday, leaving fifteen people injured.

On Wednesday, 15 people were injured and eight of them had to go to hospital after 900 litres of the nitric acid was found to have seeped into the Berlin borough of Lichterfelde, said a spokeswoman from the fire bridge, according to Berliner Zeitung

The acid stemmed from a leak in a truck which was identified on Monday evening in the Brandenburg area of the A24 motorway.

The driver of the truck had stopped at a service station along the A24 highway to eat something at around 7pm. At this point, no leak was evident. But when he came back at around 9pm the leak was discovered.

Some 200 firefighters were deployed in the subsequent operation.

The highway, on which there were many people driving to and from the Baltic Sea, was closed on Monday evening and only opened up again around 24 hours later. The rest areas on both sides of the motorway as well as two homes in a nearby village were vacated.

A press spokesperson said the reason for the leakage was a broken valve.

According to police, the truck had a load of 23 tonnes of the liquid in two tank containers - one container was in the main part of the truck, the other in a trailer. The defective container in the trailer contained twelve tonnes of acid.

Nitric acid is a colourless liquid which is strongly corrosive. Skin contact can cause severe wounds. If nitric acid comes in contact with other substances, it can trigger violent reactions. There is also risk of fire if the acid comes in contact with flammable substances.

 

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