A major chemical leak following an explosion at the factory of Vynova in Tessenderlo is no longer a threat to the public, the local authority said – despite the factory being evacuated and the disaster plan being triggered. Following the explosion at around 0645, residents were advised to keep doors and windows closed. The advice was later retired following measurements of the pollution in the area.
Vynova produces ethylene dichloride and monovinyl chloride, two essential elements in the production of PVC. The cloud was formed of hydrochloric acid, or hydrogen chloride in its gaseous form.
The liquid and gas have many industrial uses, but are most commonly found as digestive juices in the human body.
Outside of the body, the acid is used in leather processing, household cleaning, construction and oil work.
The chemical leak was originalliy described as “not a danger to the public,” although they were advised to keep their doors and windows shut. A later announcement on Facebook said doors and windows could be opened.
The factory, at the time of publication, remains evacuated.