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Acid used for Penicillin production

The toxic cloud hovering above Amager Tuesday morning was caused by a chemical spill of nitric acid to be used for making antibiotics. Why the acid started boiling and created a spill is still unknown

A three to four meter tall tank filled with acid caused a toxic chemical spill on Amager Tuesday 26 June. Residents near Kløvermarken are still being asked to stay indoors due to corrosive fumes from the leakage.

The tank, containing 4,000 litres of boiling nitric acid, started leaking at six o’clock this morning. This is according to Danish news media Politiken.dk.

The nitric acid is owned by the pharmaceutical company Xellia and used for producing Penicillin, a common form of antibiotics.

Read the University Post main article Breaking news: Toxic chemical spill on Amager.

Cause unknown

Why the nitric acid unintentionally began boiling is still unknown to the authorities. Security manager at Xellia, Jesper Skærbæk tells Politiken.dk that the acid most likely started boiling due to contamination. This may have been because of a leakage in the tank.

»It must have been contaminated by something. A chemical reaction must have taken place. This caused the acid to boil« the security manager tells Politiken.dk.

All employees at the pharmaceutical company on Amager were evacuated immediately. At 06:12 this morning a siren warned residents that a dangerous event had occured. It is still recommended to stay indoors if closely located to Kløvermarken.

Anna.M.Gaonkar@adm.ku.dk

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