Airport chemical leak purged

Airport chemical leak purged

Man hospitalized after acrylamide found seeping out of recently unloaded containers

Illustrative photo of El Al planes at Ben-Gurion Airport (Shay Levi/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of El Al planes at Ben-Gurion Airport (Shay Levi/Flash90)

Ben-Gurion airport officials announced a resumption of operations at the airport’s international cargo terminal Sunday morning, after hazardous materials treatment crews cleaned up a chemical leak that halted operations Saturday night.

A 65-year-old man was hospitalized on Saturday after a chemical was found leaking from containers unloaded from an El Al flight hours earlier.

Some 800 litres of the chemical compound acrylamide leaked out when they were being stored in a warehouse owned by importer/exporter Maman. Emergency services, including firefighters and hazardous materials treatment crews, were called to the scene.

The man was taken to Sheba Hospital at Tel Hashomer with light injuries.

Some 10 containers of the chemical had been unloaded from an El Al cargo flight originating in Belgium, with four of the containers found to be leaking.

El Al attributed the leak to a “malfunction,” according to Ynet, and said the incident was under investigation. They added that there was no damage to the airport or the plane.

Acrylamide is used in water purification plants and is also utilized to make glues, paper and cosmetics. According to the World Health Organization, the chemical can be toxic to humans at certain doses.

Scientists believe smaller doses of the compound, found in some processed foods, may be a carcinogen and contribute to causing cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute in the US.


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