Chemical spill causes evacuations in Carlsbad

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CARLSBAD, Calif. – A business complex in Carlsbad was evacuated Tuesday after employees reported a bad smell, authorities said.

The employee of “SynergEyes Contact Lenses” at 2232 Rutherford Road in Carlsbad called North County Fire dispatch to report the smell around 4:30 p.m.

The first crew to respond from Carlsbad Fire entered the building to find a chemical reaction taking place inside the chemical waste area of the business, according to Mike Davis, Division Chief with Carlsbad Fire Department.

“They found liquids on the floor and fumes,” said Davis. “Kind of a white, smokey-type vapor and the building had previously been evacuated, which was good news. They wear monitors on them that tell them when the environment has gone bad and they were wearing their breathing SCDA’s, so those monitors alerted them and the truck company evacuated immediately. We had to go into full Hazmat operation.”

Additional hazardous materials crews from Carlsbad Fire, Vista Fire, San Diego Fire and Camp Pendleton responded to the scene to help set up a perimeter. Carlsbad Police was also present to help with the situation. Neighboring businesses were evacuated.

A spokesperson for Carlsbad Fire said the chemical reaction occurred in a waste drum where two chemicals had been combined inappropriately. The building was ventilated and by 9 p.m. officials said the situation was under control. A crew remained at the scene to monitor the chemical container.

A spokesperson said the business should be able to reopen Wednesday morning.

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