A 44-YEAR-old man was left in a critical condition after a chemical spill at a factory in Bromborough.
The man suffered extensive burns to his face when a solvent ignited in the accident at the SAFC factory on Dock Road South on Tuesday morning. No-one else was injured in the incident.
Emergency services were called to the chemical plant at about 8.10am and the man was taken to hospital where he was yesterday said to be in a critical condition.
The burns are thought to have been caused by the unintentional ignition of a volatile by-product of a chemical manufacturing process.
The area where the incident occurred was cordoned off and a joint Police and Health and Safety Executive investigation has been launched.
Operations Manager Martin Skitt said about two litres of an unknown solvent is thought to have been released and ignited.
He said: “The incident occurred as the individual was working with this material.
“The solvent ignited for reasons that we are trying to determine.
“We know the constituents of the chemical but not the composition and the ratio of the constituent parts.”
Mr Skitt said the spill was localised and had no environmental impact.
Neither the release nor the ignition of the chemical by-product are an expected part of the manufacturing process.
According to the company’s website, the 100-worker manufacturing site specialises in hazardous gas handling and process safety evaluation.
The chemicals it produces have a range of applications including LED lighting and semiconductors.
The rest of the factory has returned to work and an investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Mr Skitt said: “We are working with the local authorities and the Health and Safety Executive to establish what happened.”