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A hazardous incident unit clad in personal protection equipment (PPE) was called to a chemical factory in Thetford yesterday after a tank containing highly corrosive sodium hydroxide overheated.

Production at Albion Chemicals in Thetford was brought to a halt on Monday morning after a passer by noticed a burning smell emanating from one of its chemical tanks.

Five fire engines containing a PPE clad chemical incident team were called to the scene to deal with the situation.

A leak releasing sodium hydroxide fumes was discovered in the factory and dealt with by four firefighters wearing gas-proof PPE.

The East Anglian Daily Times quoted Andy Heginbotham, Thetford Station manager, saying: "There was no actual fire but there had been a chemical reaction, which had given off some fumes and we had to be cautious.

"It was a corrosive chemical leak and it could have been serious. However, I am confident the factory had followed the right safety procedures and there was no risk to public safety."

Albion management has since said they would review safety procedures following the incident.

track© Adfero Ltd

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