Update to Chemical Release Incident

Ofc. Teresa Fuller, 509.835.4568, tfuller@spokanepolice.org

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.

Spokane Fire Department is releasing the four block restriction around the Pacific Steel and Recycling building at 1114 N. Ralph. The Pacific Steel building itself will still be closed to non-emergency personnel until Department of Ecology personnel have had time to evaluate the scene.

At this time, Spokane Fire officials are confident the gas released was chlorine and not arsenic trichloride. This was determined after fire personnel were able to enter the scene, identify the one ton chemical container, and test the clothing of the patients who first came into contact with the chemical. Chlorine dissipates quickly and fire personnel monitoring air quality in the area have found no residual chlorine particulates.

“Our primary concern at this time is for the health of our employees and the community around our facility,” said President/CEO of Pacific Steel and Recycling, Jeff Millhollin. “We are working closely with the City to ensure the area is safe and investigate the cause of this incident.”

“Spokane Fire and Police worked quickly to ensure the safety of those impacted by the incident,” said Mayor David Condon. “We appreciate the coordination and support of our regional first-response partners who helped us deliver care quickly and contain the scene.”

The Department of Ecology is expected to respond to the scene in the next several hours and will be the lead in communications once they are on scene.

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