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Firefighters respond to acid spill at RAC
GS parking lot closed down Thursday morning
spill
The Statesboro Fire Department neutralizes a hydrochloric acid spill in the RAC parking lot at Georgia Southern University Thursday. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT/staff

A chemical spill Thursday involving hydrochloric acid closed down a Georgia Southern University parking lot while firefighters contained and neutralized the spill.

Around 9:15 a.m., Statesboro firefighters responded to an area near the GS Recreation Activity Center and the Bishop Alumni Center for a reported hazardous materials spill, said Statesboro fire Lt. Derek Stoddard.

“Upon arrival to the scene, first arriving units found a small university delivery box truck that was leaking from the cargo space onto the parking lot asphalt,” he said.

Deputy Chief Bobby Duggar said there was a “visible vapor” coming from the truck and that the driver exited the truck after noticing it.

After securing the scene, “Statesboro Fire Department hazardous materials technicians made entry into the truck’s cargo space to find that there were several 30-gallon containers of hydrochloric acid that were leaking, causing damage to the truck itself and the asphalt underneath,” Stoddard said.

Duggar said responding officers used baking soda on hand at the RAC to neutralize the acid. They then contained the spilled barrels, one of which he said had a hole. No one was injured.

“Georgia Southern officials called in a hazardous materials clean-up team to secure the truck and its cargo,” Stoddard said. “The cause of the spill was undetermined” at the time.

However, at the scene, Statesboro fire Chief Tim Grams told Statesboro Herald photographer Scott Bryant that the barrels, on a pallet inside the truck, “may have shifted.”

GS Director of Communications Jennifer Wise said Thursday morning that she was unsure of what the chemicals were to be used for.

"I don't have confirmation," she said. "I believe it is a routine chemical that was being delivered for the pool."

 

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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