Firefighters respond to hydrochloric acid leak at Cargill - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Firefighters respond to hydrochloric acid leak at Cargill in Cedar Rapids


The Cedar Rapids Fire Department is on scene of an active hydrochloric acid leak at Cargill, 1710 16th Street Southeast.

Firefighters were called at 7:25 Sunday morning when a truck driver noticed hydrochloric acid leaking out of the semi-trailer as he was off-loading the product on Cargill property. The tank has approximately 46,000 pounds of hydrochloric acid and the tank appears to have a hole in the side of it.

Firefighters with hazardous materials protective gear are in the process of assessing the leak. They will be working with Cargill plant employees for a strategy to off-load the remaining product from the tank.

The hydrochloric acid leak is contained in a pit on Cargill product and, at present, is not affecting nearby locations. However, as a precaution, the Fire Department and Police Department have blocked off access to the area, including access points at: 7th Street/Otis Road SE, 10th Street/16th Avenue SE, 16th Street/14th Avenue SE, 17th Street/14th Avenue SE, Van Vechten Park, and the nearby bike trail.

There have been no injuries reported. Hydrochloric acid is a clear, colorless solution of hydrogen chloride in water. It is a highly corrosive and a strong mineral acid with many industrial uses.

There is an acidic mist that has formed; however, because the acidic cloud is heavier than air it is remaining contained in the pit on Cargill property.

The mist and hydrochloric acid solution has a corrosive effect on human tissue with the potential to damage respiratory organs, eyes, skin, and intestines.

The incident is currently contained in the pit on Cargill property and the approximately one-half mile area around the Cargill facility is being blocked off as a precaution.

The Linn County Hazardous Materials Team has been dispatched to the scene and will be working with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department to form entry teams to assess and stop the hydrochloric acid leak.

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