Chemical reaction ruptures tank

A chemical reaction at the Boise Cascade mill in International Falls ruptured a fibreglass tank and caused gas to escape into the plant Tuesday night.
“We had some foreign material get into one of our weak solution hydrochloric acid tanks,” mill spokesman Bob Anderson said this morning.
“[The] foreign material, we’re not sure what it was, went into the tank and it caused a chemical reaction, formed a gas, and ruptured the tank,” he explained.
The mill’s Hazmat team responded to the accident, which occurred around 7:20 p.m.
“There was no injuries at all,” Anderson noted. “We did, as a precaution, take two employees to the hospital emergency room to be checked because there was some gas in the chemical reaction but neither of the employees was bothered by it at all.
“They went back to work that evening.”
Anderson said the contents of the tank—16,000 gallons of 10 percent hydrochloric acid—was contained by the mill sewer system, which handles millions of gallons of this type of solution a day.
The ruptured tank will have to be replaced, and the company doesn’t have an estimate for that cost yet.
Anderson said the paper machines and paper finishing departments were unaffected by the incident and continue operating.
The hydrochloric acid solution is used by the plant to clean filters which are coated through wear.
The Koochiching County Sheriff’s office and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s duty officer were informed of the incident. There is an investigation to discover how the material entered the tank in the first place.