Hazardous Chemicals Leak in Front of Kraft Plant

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COLUMBIA- A semi-tractor and trailer carrying sodium hydroxide leaked on the road outside of the Kraft plant on Waco Road near Highway 63 in Columbia on Monday around 7 a.m.

Officials do not know who the driver of the vehicle was, but said the vehicle was not owned by Kraft.

The spill was not on Kraft property and did not impact their operations.

A source informed a KOMU reporter that a person was hit by the vehicle. His injuries are not life threatening. He has a broken arm, broken thumb and some scrapes, according to the source. His family is requesting privacy.

Fire Marshall Brad Fraizer said the vehicle leaked about 35 gallons of sodium hydroxide onto the road, and the chemical spill was caused by a slow leak in the vehicle.

Firefighters covered the chemical in an oil absorbent to make sure it was contained and removed from the pavement.

The Columbia Fire Department called in work crews from Kraft to help clean up the spill outside of the factory.

Fraizer said the chemical can cause serious chemical burns if it makes contact with the skin.

"It is a caustic substance so we want to keep people out of contact with it," said Fraizer. "So any caustic substance in an industrial plant or around people is not a good thing."

The vehicle privately owned by a company called Trans-Ex and was hauling the substance which was manufactured by Eco Lab.

The rest of the clean-up will be done by U.S. Environmental, a company out of Fulton.

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