.

Chemical Release Forces Evacuation of 3 RSM Buildings

The corrosive mixed with moisture in the air to create a potentially dangerous situation. Nearby employees were evacuated. They were allowed back in by mid-day.

Firefighters and a Hazmat are on scene at a light industrial building in Rancho Santa Margarita, the site of a chemical release. Photo courtesy of the Orange County Fire Authority.
Firefighters and a Hazmat are on scene at a light industrial building in Rancho Santa Margarita, the site of a chemical release. Photo courtesy of the Orange County Fire Authority.

Originally posted at 10:25 a.m. Feb. 27, 2014. Edited at 10:35 a.m., 11:52 a.m. and 1:26 p.m. to add more photos.

UPDATE at 1:30 p.m.: Evacuated employees were allowed to return to work.

UPDATE at 11:52 a.m.: The Hazmat team is now entering the building. See photos.

A chemical spill in a Rancho Santa Margarita industrial area this morning has caused the evacuation of several buildings, the Orange County Fire Authority reported.

The incident happened at 9:13 a.m. in the 22900 block of Arroyo Vista, said Capt. Dave Spencer.

A business owner was processing a chemical which mixed with the moisture in the air to cause a release of a potentially hazardous gas, Spencer said.

He didn’t know the exact chemical, but it was a corrosive that is not supposed to mix with water or moisture.

Hazmat crews are on scene.

“We have stopped the processing. We’ve evacuated the building itself and the surrounding buildings,” Spencer said.

There were no reported injuries.

Homer February 27, 2014 at 02:01 PM
The photo shows the building where Magnaflow products is located. They manufacture mufflers and exhaust systems. Acid based degreasers are used to clean the metal. It seems the person mixing the acid bath released a high concentration of acid. Most common acid releases are created when the water is added to the acid. The correct way is to mix the acid into the water. I highly doubt this had much to do with the humidity level in the air.
Rollotomassi February 27, 2014 at 05:16 PM
The hazmat suits look like fuit of the loom characters
Homer February 27, 2014 at 11:56 PM
I see... I was incorrect in my initial theory. A more probably scenario is the workers were (presumably / allegedly) vaporizing a metal chloride ( or other anhydrous metallic compound ) to render it non-volatile. What they presumably did not realize is that the vapors combine readily with humidity in the air (rainy morning) and form a cloud of vapor.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »