Mercury in grandfather clock spills at Charlestown Navy Yard; hazmat incident declared

Firefighters responded to the Charlestown Navy Yard just before noon today for a mercury spill, fire officials said.

Between two and three ounces of mercury spilled at 107 Third Ave. shortly after 11:30 a.m., fire department spokesman Steve MacDonald said.

“It’s an old grandfather clock that had some kind of mercury in its system to operate,” MacDonald said. “Whatever was holding the mercury leaked.”

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About one ounce of mercury spilled outside the clock and an additional two ounces spilled inside the clock, the fire department said on Twitter. The department said one employee of the building, which is used as storage for the National Park Service, was exposed to the mercury but was decontaminated by washing his or her hands.

“What will happen is we will work with whoever owns the building to get a cleanup company in there to clean it up,” MacDonald said.