Sulfuric acid leakes Germany
© Arnulf Stoffel / www.globallookpress.com
Sulfuric acid leakes out of a tank at a chemical company in Oberhausen, Germany, 16 February 2017
At least 150 people suffered minor respiratory issues after a leak from an acid tank at a chemical plant in Oberhausen, western Germany, according to local media. The neighborhood has been evacuated and residents have been told not to leave their homes.

So far, at least 150 people have been treated for minor respiratory issues by the emergency services, but only two of them were taken to hospital, a spokesman for the Oberhausen fire department told MDR.

Among the injured are 40 chemical plant staff, while the remaining 110 are people working at an industrial

The leak occurred at facilities belonging to Hamm Chemie company, according to Rheinische Post, citing the local fire department. The tank had contained about 600 cubic meters of 96-percent sulfuric acid, but it is now completely empty, a spokesman for the fire department said.

"We are currently checking out whether we can reduce the cloud of the harmful substance," fire department spokesman Joerg Preussner said, explaining the fire brigades would have to spray water up into the air to neutralize the pollutants and clean the air.

The leak occurred at facilities belonging to Hamm Chemie company, according to Rheinische Post, citing the local fire department. The tank had contained about 600 cubic meters of 96-percent sulfuric acid, but it is now completely empty, a spokesman for the fire department said.

"We are currently checking out whether we can reduce the cloud of the harmful substance," fire department spokesman Joerg Preussner said, explaining the fire brigades would have to spray water up into the air to neutralize the pollutants and clean the air.

A disaster relief unit is expected to arrive from the town of Kleve, while reinforcements for the city fire brigades are coming from Essen and Duisburg, according to RP.

According to the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ), several main roads leading to and from Oberhausen's industrial area have been sealed off.

The accident has also disrupted train and ship services, causing kilometer-long traffic jams in the central and western parts of Oberhausen's downtown area.

Deutsche Bahn expects the closure of railway lines between Oberhausen's central station and neighboring towns will last until Thursday afternoon.