Kerosene spill in a utility building on the grounds of the Department of Mechanical Engineering

Approximately 5,000 liters of kerosene leaked from a utility building on the grounds of the Department of Mechanical Engineering on the Garching campus during a construction project. At least part of the kerosene has leaked through the floor of the building into the soil and also into the groundwater. This is the result of initial test drillings carried out on July 21, 2021, by a commissioned expert. At present, it can be assumed that the spread of the kerosene is limited to a manageable area. The soil samples will now be examined in a laboratory to determine the distribution of the kerosene more precisely. Further drilling will take place. Based on the results, a decision will be made as to which measures will be initiated as quickly as possible to minimize damage. So far, it cannot be ruled out that cordoning-off measures and major excavation work will have to be carried out on the site.

Background to the incident

Last week, a company had been commissioned by the State Construction Office to renew a pumping station that pumps kerosene from a tank into a laboratory building of the Departments of Aerospace and Geodesy and Mechanical Engineering as needed. The fuel is needed there in propulsion research. On Monday, a TUM employee noticed that no kerosene was being pumped for a planned experiment. As a result, the leakage at the pumping plant was discovered. The company was immediately informed and stopped the leak. No people were harmed. TUM is working with all parties involved and responsible authorities to investigate the causes of the incident.