Gasket failure blamed for Toluene leak in Rubbertown - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Gasket failure blamed for Toluene leak in Rubbertown

Emergency crews on the scene at the American Synthetic plant in Rubbertown Emergency crews on the scene at the American Synthetic plant in Rubbertown

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – There were some scary moments in the Rubbertown area Thursday night after a Level 2 HazMat situation was declared just after 6 p.m. because of a chemical leak at American Synthetic Rubber.

We're told a gasket in a pipe broke inside one of the buildings spilling Toluene. The chemical is used to make rubber.

The plant was evacuated, but three workers near the pipe were exposed to the chemical. Chief John Wilkinson, Jr. of the Lake Dreamland Fire Department said all of the workers were decontaminated, but one was taken to the hospital because the substance got in his eyes.

MetroSafe director Doug Hamilton was on the scene and told us there was no need to sound a siren because no one was at risk.

"The product did not leave the facility," said Hamilton, "the danger was to employees. The lower explosive limits was zero so we knew it was not leaving the facility."

We checked the current R-Call system and found the information line for residents in the area was updated three times, including after the leak was stopped around 7 p.m.

Hamilton also said the city's new notification system that will include texts and calls will roll out in the next month or two.

This was the third major incident in Rubbertown this year. In May, an explosion at Eckart Aluminum injured two workers. In March, an explosion at Carbide Industries killed two people and injured two others.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly