Muriatic acid spill affects MetroLink between Shrewsbury and Maplewood

MAPLEWOOD, MO - MetroLink riders in St. Louis County experienced delays Monday afternoon following a chemical spill. The Maplewood Fire Department said the spill occurred in the 3700 block of Big Bend Industrial Boulevard, affecting the lines between the Shrewsbury and Maplewood-Manchester stations.

Around 2:30pm, a spill of muriatic acid occurred outside of Bi-State Emulsion, a chemical processing plant. A driver was using a forklift to transport a 300-gallon container of the acid when the palette gave way and overturned, releasing about 150 gallons.

9-1-1 was immediately called.  Emergency crews arrived on scene. The St. Louis County HazMat team was on standby but not used.

Several nearby businesses were evacuated as a precaution, but the Maplewood Fire Department says the situation is under control

“There is no threat right now to any of the local area. It is contained and in an area with an enclosure. It’s a managed situation," explained Maplewood Fire Department Chief Terry Merrell. "At this point in time it’s going to be the responsibility for the company to clean up we'll stand by to ensure that things are done in the safest possible manner."

No injuries were reported and no one came in contact with the muriatic acid. The company has called a private environmental clean-up company to come and clean up the spill.

The nearby Metrolink tracks were closed while the spill was investigated. Metro was using a shuttle to transport passengers between the Maplewood-Manchester station and the Shrewsbury Lansdown I-44 station.  Metro returned to normal operation around 4:45pm.

Muriatic acid is a less-pure variant of hydrochloric acid and is available in high concentrations for use in home restoration and maintenance projects. It can cause severe burns to the skin and inhalation of the fumes can burn the lungs.