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Crews wrap up haz-mat disposal in SLC

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Posted at 9:05 AM, Jul 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-02 11:05:09-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Hundreds of gallons of potentially explosive chemicals were disposed of Monday after their containers were compromised in a fire that started Sunday morning at a Salt Lake City warehouse.

Crews removed barrels of Trigonox, an organic peroxide, from Quality Distribution, 421 N John Glenn Rd., and destroyed them in a series of controlled burns.

The chemical becomes unstable at 68 degrees, and at 77 degrees it can no longer be stabilized. Because the facility’s air conditioning system was broken, the temperature inside the warehouse had already exceeded a safe level.

Due to the instability of the chemicals, officials had to evacuate everyone within a 2,000-foot radius of the warehouse. Employees of nearby businesses were expected to be allowed to return to work Tuesday morning.

Haz-mat crews and firefighters from multiple agencies dug trenches about 25 feet from the building, then brought some of the compromised containers to the trenches to be detonated.

About 280 containers of the chemical were destroyed in three separate controlled burns.

Crews also removed Trigonox containers that were not compromised in Sunday's fire and placed them in a refrigerated trailer to be returned to the manufacturer.

The air conditioning in the refrigerated trailer failed, and haz-mat crews decided to destroy those containers in a controlled burn Monday night.