Local News

Chemical spill prompts building evacuation

Posted October 1, 2008

— A chemical spill at a Waste Management Inc. storage building Wednesday morning prompted Wake County emergency officials to evacuate an office building near the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Authorities were called to the Waste Management facility at 10411 Globe Road at about 11:30 a.m. There were no reports of injuries, and the evacuation was a precaution, emergency officials said.

Men cleaning an adjacent storage building moved a 55-gallon drum of muriatic acid, an industrial-strength form of hydrochloric acid, when the drum tipped, said Jeffrey Hammerstein, district chief for Wake County Emergency Medical Services. An estimated 30 to 45 gallons of the acid spilled, he said.

Fumes and a foul odor filled the air, witnesses said.

Firefighters and a hazardous materials crew responded to the spill, and they evacuated the storage building and an adjacent office building. Workers inside Waste Management's offices were told to remain indoors.

The hazmat team spread lime on the spill to neutralize it.

"After about 30 minutes, it was deemed for them to be safe, so they returned," Hammerstein said.

The Waste Management operation typically doesn't handle hazardous materials, and investigators were trying to determine if the company had the proper permits to store the acid.


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  • cherokee43v6 Oct 1, 2008

    "...we certainly don't need another Garner or Apex incident going down." -XARABELLE

    I presume you are refering to the incident at the scrap metal yard on Garner Road in RALEIGH. In fact, that facility is barely outside the beltline on the south side of RALEIGH and is far closer to the State Capitol Building in the heart of downtown RALEIGH than it is to the nearest property belonging to the town of Garner.

  • R.O.BdaCZAR Oct 1, 2008

    Cary annexed one road in the middle of Morrisville? I couldn't figure why that Cary police car was at the scene.

  • Steve Crisp Oct 1, 2008

    Muriatic acid is not just similar to hydrochloric acid -- it IS hydrochloric acid. The names are interchangable, though the term muriatic acid tends to be used for the industrial strength concentration of HCl.

    One question I have is if those men noted in the story who were cleaning that building were actually using muriatic acid to clean it, or if they just happened to tip over a drum of the stuff that was in the area they were cleaning? If it was their chemical, then why did early reports indicate that it was an unknown substance?

    Also, why didn't HAZMAT immediately know what it was when they arrived? The smell is unmistakable.

  • oyid Oct 1, 2008

    Ha ha...Cary is Morrisville is Cary. What is the point?

  • 8675309-9 Oct 1, 2008

    "From the story you would have thought it was a radio active spill. Holy Cow!"

    As opposed to those unactive radios.

  • Just Once Oct 1, 2008

    From the story you would have thought it was a radio active spill. Holy Cow!

  • XARABELLE Oct 1, 2008


  • copforlife Oct 1, 2008

    "Waste management building in Cary evacuated". Does no one else see the humor in this?????

  • kcfoxie Oct 1, 2008

    Morrisville is Cary! OMG!

  • RPD Oct 1, 2008

    Morrisville postal address, but it's in Cary town limits.