Faulty Power Supply Caused Pa. Chemical Leak

PETROLIA, Pa. (AP) -- Safety officials say an improperly operated pump was responsible for a chemical leak that forced hundreds of Pennsylvania residents from their homes last year.

Indspec Chemical Corp. faces more than $150,000 in environmental and workplace safety fines for the oleum leak in Petrolia, about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh. About 2,500 people were forced from their homes for a day.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board said Monday that a transfer tank overflowed because its pump was connected to an outlet without an automatic shut-off.

The board says workers often used the outlet without the automatic shut-off to save time. Plant manager Dave Dorko says the offending worker in this case was fired.

Oleum forms when sulfuric acid is exposed to air.

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