Ottawa Fire Services’ hazardous materials team resolved an emergency Wednesday morning involving a chemical spill at the 3M tape plant in Brockville, Ontario.
Two people suffered minor injures in the resulting evacuation, local media report.
At 9:44 a.m., a 3M employee activated an alarm due to an unknown odor, the Ottawa Matters website states. Responding to assist the Brockville Fire Department were Ottawa Fire Services and its Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit.
The spill, confined to a storage room for chemicals, caused enough concern that at least one neighboring business was evacuated as well. Officials have not been able to identify the specific chemical involved.
After the smell dissipated the Office of the Fire Marshal officially declared the situation resolved shortly after 7 p.m. However, air quality samples continued to be measured throughout the evening.
As part of the emergency response from Ottawa, firefighter brought the city’s hazmat incident command vehicle. Jim Andrews, special operations chief for OFS, describe the vehicle as a “rolling laboratory” equipped with necessary testing equipment.
“We have access to a number of resources such as Chemtech through Transport Canada and other specialists,” Andrews said. “We are able to do analytics, do plume modeling if that’s required and support the local jurisdictions in mitigating any incident that may arise.”
3M announced in August that the Brockville site would produce 50 million N95 masks beginning next year under a $70 million agreement with the Canadian government.
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