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Hazmat team dispatched to Franklin plant

FRANKLIN — City firefighters and the Central New Hampshire Hazardous Materials Team were called to a local manufacturing plant Tuesday morning to deal with a potentially dangerous mixture of two chemicals.

A “hazardous condition” happened at Vitex Extrusion at 43 Industrial Park Drive at 5:08 a.m. when two chemical materials mixed in a five-gallon container, which led to an “exothermic reaction” from the mix, causing extreme heat, said Fire Chief Kevin LaChapelle.

Thermal equipment measured the heat coming from the container at 150 degrees, he said.

When city firefighters arrived they found that the plant had been evacuated, LaChapelle said. The company’s night supervisor had reported the spill and the chemical reaction and had ordered employees to leave as a precaution.

City firefighters entered the building wearing full protective gear.

Once they confirmed the hazardous condition, they withdrew from the building and closed its doors until the hazardous materials team arrived.

When the team arrived, hazardous materials specialists monitored the situation for several minutes, LaChapelle said. They then noticed that the mixture had formed a solid compound and its temperature had dropped.

“The product stabilized itself without further mitigation,” he said.

It was determined that there was no further hazard from the mixture, and the chemicals were left in the container so that company officials could dispose of them.

There were no injuries. The incident was deemed under control at 8 a.m. All non-essential plant personnel were sent home until later in the morning when the building was deemed safe.

Vitex officials have contracted a private clean-up company to remove the substance, LaChapelle said.

Vitex manufactures custom aluminum extrusions and finished components.


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