San Jose Airport in California has a strange scenery this Friday and probably Saturday as well after the fire prevention system inside an aircraft hangar malfunctioned and flooded the facility with firefighting foam.
If you were ever wondering if these facilities are equipped well enough to extinguish a massive fire I guess this answers your question providing there isn’t an explosion ripping the system apart that distributes the foam.
You can find more details about it on ABC7 News (access here).
Firefighters and airport officials say this is a first. An apparent malfunction caused a massive spill of foam that is used to fight fires. The spill was so massive that it blocked a street behind the San Jose International Airport.
One witness said, “It looks like a huge foam party gone bad.” At one point the foam was at least ten feet high, oozing out of the building.
It looked so fun to one man that he got lost in it after asking police for permission to ride his bike through it. “It just feels like soap,” he said. Yeah it just feels like soap. Kind of smells like it too.”
He wasn’t entirely wrong, there is one difference: this foam is for putting out fires and it’s made to coat the surface of liquids like gasoline.
Even though it might look tempting to throw yourself into a bunch of foam like this gentleman did you might want to think twice about doing it. This isn’t a regular, harmless substance!
Officials warned against getting the substance near your eyes, as it can cause irritation so they encouraged people to not go near the foam.
The spill enveloped an entire city block, oozing out of the San Jose airport’s newest private jet hangar. It was finished a year ago, just in time to host the teams that played in the Super Bowl.
A spokesperson for the company that runs it says no one was hurt when the fire suppression system suddenly activated, filling the empty space and street outside with foam. Now that company is responsible for the cleanup.
Cleaning this mess up will likely be a costly mess and takes some time. I doubt it’s feasible to wait until this eventually dissolves and even if it does there will likely be some residue that needs to be removed. The inside of the hangar… well I don’t want to think about it.
This was just a harmless malfunction which resulted nevertheless in substantial damage and required much effort for the cleanup in the aftermath of the event.
It’s interesting to see though how these facilities are equipped and that the fire prevention system can even produce that much firefighting foam.