Sunday's spill caused a cloud of orange fumes above a several-block area of South Salt Lake, forced the evacuation of 6,000 people and shut down several roads and highways in the area, including a stretch of Interstate 15. By mid-morning Monday, evacuees were allowed home and the roads were reopened.And it sounds like somebody might have broken a few important safety rules-
`The railcars are used for the transportation of sulphuric acid. That's what they're designed for,'' said Louie Cononelos, a spokesman for Kennecott Utah Copper, a Magna-based company that leased the railcar to Phillips Services. "For whatever reason, they were shipping something that was not sulphuric acid."Fortunately, I don't think anyone was hurt and the danger has been resolved. Now its up to the lawyers.
Samples taken at the site by hazmat crews on Sunday showed the contents included acetic acid, hydrofluoric acid, phosphoric acid and sulphuric acid. The materials in the railcar were not contained and easily corroded the car's lining.
"That combination attacked the integrity of the railcar," Cononelos said.