OREGON CITY, Ore. - The Clackamas Fire Hazardous Materials team responded to the Metro South Transfer Station in Oregon City, Tuesday evening, after reports of a chemical reaction in one of the trash bays.
Fire crews evacuated employees and customers while they investigated the source of the reaction. They discovered a container of muriatic acid, also known as hydrochloric acid had tipped over. The common construction chemical is often used for etching concrete.
“Somebody improperly threw it in a load and it released and caused this incident,” said Metro operations manager, Penny Erickson. She said the spill created a gas, which sent one employee to the hospital.
“He appears to be okay,” said Erickson.
Erickson said Metro has a Household Hazardous Waste Disposal on site where she said people can and should take chemicals, paint and other toxic waste.
“There, we could properly handle it, but if it's mixed with the garbage we don't necessarily see it,” said Erickson. “The container might get broken or get tipped or spilled or might create a chemical reaction.”