Acid Spill In MH2614 Cargo Hold At KKIA Cleaned Up By Hazmat Unit

Personnel of the Hazmat unit going through the process of cleaning up the acid spill at Kota Kinabalu International Airport late Wednesday evening. – Photo credit BOMBA Kota Kinabalu

KOTA KINABALU: Operations at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport went on smoothly while a hazardous materials (Hazmat) unit from the Sabah Fire and Rescue Services Department was to clean up an acid leak Wednesday.

The incident did not affect other flights and none of the passengers and crew on board the Malaysia Airlines flight MH2614 that touched down at about 6pm were injured by the spillage.

According to a Bomba statement, airline bagged handlers spotted the chemical leaking from a box in the cargo hold of the flight shortly after it arrived here from Kuala Lumpur and alerted their superiors.

The boxes containing the batteries that leaked in the cargo hold while on board a Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur,

Some 10 firefighters in two engines, including the Hazmat unit were deployed to the scene following a distress call at 6.15pm.

Khatizah Rahaban, the Bomba Sabah operations chief said the Hazmat unit immediately carried out tests and determined that the chemical was UN2794 acid, which is usually used in vehicle batteries.

The team used sulphur powder to soak up the acid in the Boeing 737’s cargo hold. The powder was then placed in a waste drum and turned over to Malaysia Airports Bhd for investigations.

Khatizah said passengers on board the aircraft had safely disembarked by the time the Hazmat team arrived at the airport.

Meanwhile, NST Online quoting Sunif Naiman, Malaysia Airports Kota Kinabalu senior manager, said the leak originated from a box of wet cell batteries.

He was quoted by the portal as confirming that a 40kg CPU battery had leaked inside the aircraft cargo compartment.

“We received notification at 5.35pm (yesterday) about an incident involving a chemical leak on board flight MH2614.

“Upon landing, the aircraft was parked at Bay 5B and was cordoned off thereafter,” he told the portal.

The Hazmat team said the spill involved a UN2794 liquid-type acid, which is a corrosive substance.