Troops with the Utah National Guard trained to handle chemical emergencies have been deployed to a copper mining facility after an earthquake Wednesday morning released hydrochloric acid.
A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck north central Utah shortly after 7 a.m., the largest such event in the state since 1992.
Latest reports indicate that a large plume generated by the acid spill is now under control. Wind carried the plume north over the Great Salt Lake, local media report.
According the UNG website, the 85th Civil Support Team’s mission is to support civil authorities in incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high yield explosives.
Deployment was at the request of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.
A press release from the management at Rio Tinto’s Kennecott facility states that the acid release happened at the copper refinery and not the Bingham Canyon Mine.
“United Fire Authority in partnership with our Emergency Response Team has confirmed through remote inspection the release does not pose a risk to public safety,” the release states.
The company reports that it was able to move their employees to safety without injuries.