Acid Spill In Mount Pleasant Neighborhood - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/29/04-Longview

Acid Spill In Mount Pleasant Neighborhood

  A truck leaking a deadly acid forced the evacuation of over 50 homes in Mount Pleasant. Around 5:15 this morning, police were notified that a tanker truck was leaking. Hotel guests were rousted out their rooms and sleepy homeowners were escorted out of the area as emergency crews tried to get everyone away from a deadly gas cloud from a hydrochloric acid leak.

  "It looked to me like the motel was on fire but it was solid, couldn't even see the motel for the fog... And that was that stuff," said area homeowner E.L. Thrift.

  The truck lost an estimated 25-to-30 gallons of the acid before crews got to it... Some leaked into a local creek killing all of the fish there. A steady rain is not helping emergency crews right now as hydrochloric acid comes in contact with water it creates a vapor and that vapor can be deadly.

  "The vapor cloud can cause respiratory arrest if you inhale too much of it," said Mount Pleasant police officer Kent Bassinger. Fifty area homes were evacuated as well as the hotel and a nearby restaurant, with evacuees being held at the city civic center. 5 people were treated for exposure to the chemical, but none effected seriously.

  "It's a chemical spill is what they told us and they said that we needed to evacuate" said Ohio visitor and evacuated hotel guest, Cecilia Van Gorp.

   The leak was stopped around 2 this afternoon, but the area remains closed off. This evening the rest of the hydrochloric acid will be removed. Officials think residents will be allowed back in their homes sometime late tonight.

Bob Hallmark reporting.

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