Toxic gas fear as truck burns
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if Up to 2,000 people were threatened by toxic gas when a truck carrying chemicals caught tire in South Wales last week.
The incident happened on the M54 at Resuiven near Heath after the vehicle developed a mechanical fault. The driver pulled into a lay-by but was unable to extinguish flames coming from the engine which spread to the flat-bed trailer where containers holding 6,400 litres of ferric chloride were stacked. Fire or heat turns this chemical into a lethal gas which causes severe irritation to skin and eyes.
Des Davies, a local resident and mayor of Heath Port Talbot Council, says everybody in the village was warned to shut their doors and windows. "We were very alarmed initially but nobody was injured," he says. "The cab was completely burned out."
The road was closed for 15 hours to complete the clean-up operation.