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Trouble for Louie the Fly
The CFA was called to an incident at Cavendish in South West Victoria yesterday (13.11.12), to attend a reported chemical spill.
A rusting drum in a storage shed on the property was found to be leaking. Staff attempted to clean up the leak but stopped after being affected by strong fumes. The drum of Diazinon Liquid had not been used in years and although less than 20 Litres had escaped, it was certainly cause for alarm. The property manager followed correct safety procedures and called for CFA assistance.
Staff were able to provide details of the chemical drum and contents which greatly assisted in properly identifying the actual chemical compound involved. The initial response brigade, Cavendish Fire Brigade, recognised the hazardous situation and proceeded with caution. Assistance was sought from Hamilton Fire Brigade, the closest HAZMAT response brigade.
Once on scene, Hamilton established that extra manpower and equipment was required and requested Warrnambool Fire Brigade to attend.
Diazinon is an organophosphate insecticide, it is a very toxic chemical. Due to extensive planning and consultation with the EPA, chemical manufacturer and the CFA Scientific Officer, significant time was spent on scene planning the response. Although the incident took some five hours, the containment of the drum and nearby contaminated soil did not take long.
Volunteers, staff and appliances from Cavendish, Bulart, Hamilton and Warrnambool fire brigades attended the scene, in addition to the specialist HAZMAT vehicles from Hamilton and Warrnambool brigades.
The extensive training undertaken by HAZMAT brigades helps us to prepare, act and survive such hazardous incidents.
The incident was handed back to the Property Manager who had engaged the services of an accredited removal firm to deal with other contaminated soil and the contents of the HAZMAT dam and the incident was deemed SAFE.