MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A cargo warehouse, located in the Guaruja area near Santos, Sao Paulo state, has exploded after a water leak caused a reaction with stored chemicals, Brazil's Veja magazine reported late Thursday.
Containers stored at the cargo terminal belonging to the Localfrio company contained hydrochloric acid and sodium dichloroisocyanurate, a disinfectant, Localfrio representatives said, according to the magazine.
A series of fires and explosions broke out after water reacted with the chemicals, causing a large toxic cloud to spread through the port area.
Firefighters have not gained complete control of the fire by nighttime, Guaruja's fire department said.
Organic, inorganic and toxic substances caused eye irritation, throat, nausea and fainting, Guaruja's mayor stated. The State Dock Company of Sao Paulo suspended the port's operations, stopping ship movement as a precautionary measure.
Sodium dichloroisocyanurate is a highly toxic product, which acts as an irritant as well causing long-term environmental damage, particularly to aquatic life. The chemical is stored away from water and direct sunlight.