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Acid tank explosion at US Rolls-Royce plant injures nine

31 March 2014

On March 28, an explosion involving a tank of nitric acid injured nine workers at a Rolls-Royce plant near the Indianapolis International Airport. Firefighters said a 250-gallon tank of nitric acid exploded and released a cloud of vapour that left the workers suffering from acid burns and breathing problems.

Eight of the workers were hospitalised but  none had life-threatening injuries. One worker was treated at the scene. All eight have now left hospital.

Nitric acid is corrosive. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says the vapour or mist form can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and skin. High concentrations of vapour can severely burn the eyes and skin.

Rolls-Royce has research facilities and an aircraft engine plant in Indianapolis. The plant remained shut after the incident, but resumed operations the next day.

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