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Chemical mishap shuts down Wellesley street

Posted by Sarah Thomas  July 7, 2010 01:07 PM

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A mishap on Brookside Avenue that saw two industrial chemicals mixed improperly led to a closed road and a visit from a HAZMAT team, Wellesley officials said today. The chemicals were not spilled, and police say there is no danger to the public.

At 7:18 a.m., two chemicals being used to reline piping were combined in a 55-gallon drum being stored in the back of a truck. The chemicals were allowed to remain too long, and began heating up and emitting vapors.

"As far as we know, the situation was unpleasant, but not dangerous," said Officer Marcia Cleary of the Wellesley Police Department. "The Fire Department responded to the incident and originally requested a Tier 1 HAZMAT response, which is standard procedure."

At 8:40, the fire department amended their request to include more HAZMAT responders.

"The drum was contained in the back of a truck, and it was difficult for us to get at it or see any weaknesses in the drum," said Captain Nat Brady of the Wellesley Fire Department, who was on the scene. "We felt it better to have a backup team in case something happened."

The fire department and HAZMAT team are presently engaged in removing the drum. Brady said the company that had been working on the pipes would contract a specialized chemical cleaning company to clean the drum and any other affected tools.

It is not known what chemicals were mixed in the drum, or how long Brookside Avenue will remain closed.

Sarah Thomas can be reached at wellesley@boston.com.

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