A leak of methyl acrylate occurred today in the largely defunct Communist era OHIS plant in Skopje. The smell of the toxic material used to make acrylic fibers alarmed citizens living near-by who alerted the media.

The police intervened and later informed that the leak occurred after a tank containing old methyl acrylate was being power-washed. A valve burst while the tank was washed and the water mixed with the toxin spilled into a concrete pool.

The company performing the work is hired to collect and export up to 70 tons of antiquated chemical waste, which is sent to Switzerland. OHIS went bankrupt with the fall of Communism and the huge chemical complex was unable to cope with market forces. This left tanks filled with chemicals to rust away, and the soil underneath the plant is considered thoroughly polluted.