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Aug 8, 2017 10:02 AM

Nitric acid spill sends several New Hampshire UPS employees to hospital


NASHUA — Several UPS employees had to be transported to area hospitals after a package containing nitric acid spilled Tuesday morning, triggering a full-scale evacuation.

Nashua Fire Chief Steven G. Galipeau said as of about 9 a.m. the situation at the UPS on Whipple Street had been isolated, and the package containing the acid had been placed into an overpack drum.

Galipeau said the situation was labeled a Level 1 Mass Casualty Incident because of the initial number of people showing respiratory symptoms associated with exposure to the acid, and multiple ambulances were called to the scene. He said the acid most likely reacted with something it was packed in, causing it to form a vapor that is dangerous when inhaled.

READ: Officials on scene of chemical incident at UPS facility in Nashua

According to Galipeau, 10 people were evaluated for exposure at the scene, and seven were transported to hospitals for further evaluation.

The chief said he was unsure, but that the package was probably in one of the loading areas when the incident occurred. He said that this incident is believed to have been an accident and that it's perfectly safe and legal to ship the acid.

Galipeau said the coordinated response from area emergency services worked like "clockwork."

He said now their efforts will focus on cleaning up their equipment and vacating the scene and that Clean Harbors would deal with the rest of the clean up.

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