FedEx workers in Vietnam got an unpleasant surprise in April of 2013 while unloading cargo from an aircraft: a shipment that was smoldering and burning.

The Indiana company that sent the shipment now faces a $227,500 civil penalty for shipping Boron Tribromide, a corrosive material and toxic inhalation hazard that is prohibited from being transported aboard any commercial aircraft, along with two other corrosive substances.

On the ground and in the air

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says AmplaChem, Inc. of Carmel, Ind., allegedly violated Hazardous Materials Regulations, endangering both the crew of the aircraft, the plane itself and the workers on the ground.

The FAA alleges the shipment was not accompanied by shipping papers to indicate the hazardous nature of its contents and was not properly marked, labeled or packaged under the Hazardous Materials Regulations. Additionally, the FAA alleges that AmplaChem did not provide emergency response information with the shipment and failed to ensure its employees had received required hazardous materials training.

AmplaChem specializes in supplying chemical and pharmaceutical products to North America, Asia, Europe and other areas,

AmplaChem plans to meet with the FAA in mid-June to discuss the case.