Grafton school evacuated after nearby Hazmat scare
GRAFTON, Mass. -- North Grafton Elementary School was evacuated on Friday due to a hazardous materials situation nearby.
A chemical cloud had fire crews scrambling to the scene, and caught Dave Flood’s attention next door.
“We happened to look in that direction and we saw the plume of yellowish…like a vapor cloud sort of go up,” said Dave Flood.
The off-duty firefighter says he wasn’t worried because he was upwind. But Dave Flood’s wife says he should have been.
‘I would have been worried if I was him. I wouldn’t have stood out here,” said Sharon Flood. “That’s crazy.”
Investigators say the vapor cloud spouted after a worker at the Dana Transport trucking company accidentally poured nitric acid into water. About 50 employees got out to a safe area and then firefighters evacuated several nearby homes and the Grafton Elementary School.
The school evacuated 300 students.
Luckily, the winds blew the cloud away from populated areas.
“It was quite visible, it was a mustardy yellow cloud and it was going into an unoccupied wooded area, which was good for us,” said Chief Michael Gauthier of the Grafton Fire Department.
A company representative said the incident happened when a worker was trying to dispose of four to five gallons of the acid from a tanker and then he made a mistake.
“He should have put it in a nitric acid drum and he put it in a water drum and it reaction, which is what acids do,” said Mike Polselli, company representative.
Local firefighters say the company has a good safety record and the company says the worker who caused the accident has a good safety record himself. They say he’s been with the company for about seven years and what he did was simply a mistake.
(Copyright (c) 2011 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)