Monday, December 9, 2013

Police probe Great Northern Highway chemical spill

ABC Kimberley reported:

Police probe Great Northern Highway chemical spill

It is not clear what caused a truck rollover in the East Kimberley that disrupted the weekend travel plans of dozens of motorists.
On Friday morning, the trailer of a road train tipped over just east of Warmun, spilling ammonium nitrate across the bitumen.
The Great Northern Highway had to be shut for 10 hours while a fire and emergency services crew assessed the scene and oversaw the clean-up.
By 6:00pm (AWST), the chemicals were cleaned up and a crane had removed the trailer, meaning the highway could reopen.
Warmun police will investigate what caused the accident.
Articles The Hazards and Dangers of Ammonium Nitrate

What is Ammonium Nitrate?
Ammonium nitrate is an odorless, colorless or white, crystal salt produced by the reaction 

of ammonia and nitric acid. 

How is Ammonium Nitrate used? 
Ammonium nitrate is an important component of many fertilizer mixtures. It provides a 

source of nitrogen to plants, which increases growth and crop yields.
Small quantities of ammonium nitrate are also sold as an additive for mining explosives 
and other nonagricultural uses.

What are the potential hazards?
Under normal handling conditions, ammonium nitrate is not harmful. However, inhalation 

of high concentrations of ammonium nitrate dust can cause respiratory tract irritation. 
Symptoms may include: coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, or even suffocation. 
When swallowed in high concentrations, ammonium nitrate may cause headache, dizziness,
 abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, weakness, a tingling sensation, 
heart and circulation irregularities, convulsions, collapse, and suffocation. 
Ammonium nitrate forms a mild acid when mixed with water. 
This acid can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and skin.
Is Ammonium Nitrate flammable or explosive?
Ammonium nitrate rating is non flammable, a fire from ammonium nitrate is very unlikely,

 but it is a strong oxidizing agent that can cause combustible materials 
(such as wood, paper, and oil) to ignite. Only under extreme conditions of heat and 
pressure in a confined space will ammonium nitrate explode. 
Should such an incident occur, there may be a visible cloud of ammonia, carbon
 dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

1 comment:

  1. Iluka and Sheffield, strip miners for mineral sands, have tenements over parts of the Dampier Peninsula and surrounding Broome. Iluka recently recieved WA Government funding for exploration near Broome.