The Chattanooga Fire Department was called to 38th Street and St. Elmo Avenue at Chattem Chemical to an overturned truck at 12:40 p.m. Saturday. Upon arrival the Chattem Safety team members advised that the truck contained 5,000 gallons of Monochloroacetic acid, which is used to produce Glycine, a common food additive to human and pet foods.
The truck was apparently making a delivery and, while backing into the loading area, the truck jack-knifed and the Intermodal container slowly rolled over.
These-type containers are protected by an outer steel framework to safe-guard the contents.
The Chattanooga Fire Department Hazardous Materials team made entry to check for leaks. There was a small amount of the product that was leaking about a drop every 15-20 seconds from the upper manhole access. The storm drains were sealed to prevent possible contamination, and, as a result, none of the product made it to the drains.
Yates Recovery was called to upright the tank and trailer. After that was accomplished, plant personnel worked to off-load the product into the storage tank. The off-loading was being supervised by Marion Environmental, a local environmental cleanup contractor.
38th street between St. Elmo Ave and Church Street was closed for a short time. There were no injuries reported and no product was released outside the plant boundaries. Hamilton County EMS and the Chattanooga Police Department also provided assistance.
Fire Chief Randy Parker said Chattem personnel did an excellent job in responding to the emergency and providing assistance to the fire department.