Firefighters stood by all day Wednesday as a hazardous materials team from Occidental Chemical Corp. pumped about 17,000 gallons of a flammable liquid out of a leaking railroad tank car, dispatchers Richard Johnston and James Majka said.
Occidental plant manager William Lessig said a Conrail worker discovered the slow leak of benzotrifluoride, an industrial solvent manufactured at the Buffalo Avenue plant, in the rail yard at 29th Street and Seneca Avenue at about 3:30 a.m.
Lessig said the chemical was leaking at the rate of about one gallon an hour from a hole in the body of the rail car. Lessig said that with the temperatures slightly above freezing, which was the case Thursday, the liquid would give off only "a slight odor."
Another car was brought to the yard, and the crew pumped the contents of the leaking car into the new one. The defective car was then taken back to the plant for inspection. Firefighters left the scene at 6:41 p.m.