A hazardous materials team responded to the Metro South Transfer Station in Oregon City, Oregon, June 13, after reports of a chemical reaction in one of the trash bays, according to a report from KGW-TV.
Employees and customers were evacuated while fire crews investigated the source of the reaction. According to the report, a container of muriatic acid, also known as hydrochloric acid had tipped over. The construction chemical is often used for etching concrete.
The chemical was improperly disposed of at the transfer station. It should have been taken to the hazardous waste disposal area of the site and not mixed with the regular garbage, according to officials at the facility.
One employee was hospitalized from the gas that was created from the spill. That employee was reportedly okay.
Toxic waste such as chemicals and paint is supposed to be taken to the household hazardous waste disposal on-site. When it is mixed in with the garbage, workers often do not see it or the container could break or spill and cause a chemical reaction, an official says.