Release of hydrogen chloride at Industriepark Höchst

Created Date

December 22, 2020 - 6:00am

Contributed date

June 5, 2021 - 9:23am

Critical Commentary

This article reports on the release of hydrogen chloride on the evening of December 21st, 2020. According to the authors of this article, citizens of the nearby areas had been warned by sirens and on Twitter the fire department Frankfurt had asked citizens to close windows, not leave their homes and turn off ventilators, as the released chemical is toxic when inhaled and can cause skin corrosion. Further information was to be found on the smart phone application "Katwarn" and the website "", and one was supposed to inform neighbors about the incident. It is further reported that the incident had been brought under control at 09:08 pm and that measurements outside of the industrial park for the chemical had been negative. According to the industrial parks' operator, one worker had been injured with eye irritation and the article closes with a description of the specialty of the company that had been responsible for the chemical release.

I find this report highly irritating, as a friend of mine who lives in Höchst has - opposing the corresponding claim in the article - not heard any siren going off, but learned about the incident via social media, as friends of theirs had sent them the fire departments' warning. As not everyone possesses a smartphone, internet access, or a social system that can inform them, I would claim that this disaster management system is highly insufficient and irresponsible. Further, I find it strange that the article ends with a paragraph that I see as advertisement for the company, rather than a critical comment on further measures that will be taken to prevent such a situation from happening.



Cite as

Anonymous, 22 December 2020, "Release of hydrogen chloride at Industriepark Höchst", contributed by , Disaster STS Network, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 5 June 2021, accessed 13 August 2022.öchst