Businesses evacuated after Hazmat spill

By Fred Childers – bio|email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – The driver of an eighteen- wheeler told police that he noticed his load shift, and then pulled over in this Sutherlands parking lot on Mansfield road and 70th where he noticed a  leak.

Emergency officials would determine that the liquid dripping onto the pavement was corrosive.

" It can do some damage to the flesh as a vapor," said Scott Wolverton, the Chief Safety Officer for the Shreveport Fire Department.

Nearby businesses, Sutherlands and McDonalds were evacuated.

"We was told that it was a bad gas spill and that we had to shut down but we don't know for how long," said Donald Jones, a McDonalds employee.

A drain was situated in the middle of the parking lot, a pathway to the city's water system.

Emergency officials say that when the hazmat team arrived, the material was just three feet from that drain.

"And the environment is another big concern. Which is why we immediately began damming the product as soon as we got on scene to prevent it from getting in any ditch or any drainage inside this parking lot," said Wolverton.

With the leak contained, crews suited up in protective gear and began removing the potentially dangerous material.

"A couple of firefighters go in with level B suits which is a splash protected suit that'll protect them against the product. They'll put some absorbent down and it will actually dike and dam the liquid in one spot," said Wolverton.

What the material is used for is still not clear.

But they do know it's potential danger as a corrosive, prompting a quick and cautious response.

©2009 ksla-tv. all rights reserved. this material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.