Hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid spill at Dunn plant; release contained to site
Posted June 24
Dunn, N.C. — Multiple agencies responded Saturday morning to an accidental chemical release in Dunn that prompted evacuations and shut down a nearby road.
Fayetteville's hazardous material team responded around 9:30 a.m. to the Brainerd Chemical building at 1600 South Wilson Ave. to assist Harnett County Emergency Management with a release of chemicals.
Local emergency crews were initially notified of a possible explosion, but when crews arrived, they found there was no explosion or fire. Officials said there was an accidental release of hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid, which was being used to make commercial-grade disinfectant.
Crews evacuated people in a 600-meter radius around the building, which included some businesses and four private residences.
The incident interrupted a laid-back Saturday morning for Pragna Chasatiya, owner of the nearby Dawson Motor Court.
"I was ready to drink my coffee. I just had one sip and an officer came by here with a light on and he said 'come on, get out! Tell everybody we got to go,'" Chasatiya said. "I could smell it, when I walked outside."
Officers went door to door evacuating people and Maurice Seaberry said he was told "if you don't want to die, you need to leave."
"So I got my wife up, we got dressed and left," Seaberry said.
One employee suffered minor injuries but was treated and released from a local hospital.
The release of the chemicals was controlled and contained on site.
Saturday's incident marked the second emergency at the plant in the past two years. In September 2015, hydrochloric acid vapor escaped from a tank, prompting an evacuation of neighboring businesses and homes. Nobody was hurt.
Brainerd, which is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, employs 14 people at the Dunn plant. Company officials declined to speak about Saturday's incident.
Brainerd Chemical is a regional provider and distributor of chemicals for research facilities, industrial plants, agricultural operations, water treatment and several other industries.
(Correction: Authorities originally said there was a fire at the location but later corrected to say there was no fire or explosion.)