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Fumes From Acid Leaked From Tank Close Interstate Highway

September 29, 1985

CHICOPEE, Mass. (AP) _ Acid leaked Saturday from a tank at a plastics plant, releasing fumes that forced the closing of 10 miles of an interstate highway near Springfield.

The leak of formic acid, which is corrosive to skin and tissue, occurred about at the Hercules Inc. plant on Interstate 391 between Chicopee and Holyoke, said state trooper Fred Lussier.

Residents living near the plant were not evacuated, and the road was expected to be reopened early Sunday morning, police said.

″We’re concerned about drivers being affected by the fumes,″ Lt. Gerald Bousquet of the Chicopee police said.

The leak occurred at a point halfway up the 5,000-gallon tank, and workers were pumping out the formic acid to bring the level below the spot, according to a man who answered the telephone at the plant but declined to identify himself.

Cause of the leak was not known.

Lussier said state and local police set up a command post at the plant.

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