Several people were taken to the hospital in Danville on Wednesday after an accidental mixing of chemicals created a vapor cloud of hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid.
The incident happened around 10 a.m. Wednesday at the water treatment plant in South Hill.
When the Danville Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team arrived at the water treatment plant, 11 people had already been taken to the hospital because of exposure to the gas. Eight of those people exposed to the gas were firefighters.
An additional seven people were also treated after being exposed to the gas. No one on the Hazmat team was hurt.
The materials were allowed to dissipate, and the team helped with ventilation of the facility.
Residents near the water treatment plant were asked to evacuate their homes until the gas dissipated.
Here is the news release from the City of Danville:
The Danville Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team was called to respond to an incident at the water treatment plant in South Hill, VA, this morning just after 10 a.m. The team responded with 14 members, two hazmat, and a staff vehicle to a release of a toxic substance due to an accidental mixing of products that resulted in a vapor cloud of hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid.
When the team arrived on scene, it was found that some 11 people, 8 of which were local firefighters, had been taken to the local hospital for issues related to the exposure to the gases. The DRHM response team worked with the local emergency services units (fire, EMS and emergency management), facility personnel, and the supplier of the product being delivered to evaluate the conditions and to stabilize the situation.
An additional 7 people were reported to have been treated or transported for evaluation to the local hospital for effects that were the result of earlier exposure.
No injuries were reported by Hazmat personnel entering the facility. The materials were allowed to dissipate, and the team assisted with the ventilation of the facility. Residents in the immediate vicinity were asked to leave their homes until the vapors had dissipated. There were no further reports of injuries. There was no information as to the number of residents affected or when they were allowed back into their homes by local authorities.
The Danville team returned to Danville just after 9:30 PM. There is no further information available at this time.