A hydrochloric acid leak shut down a truck stop in the city of Hesperia, Calif., for several hours on Monday, Dec. 16.
According to a news release from the San Bernardino County Fire Department, a faulty valve on a tanker truck led to the release of 600 gallons of acid. The hazardous materials leak was reported at just before 5 p.m. at the Pilot Travel Center on Joshua Street and U.S. Highway 395, just west of Interstate 15.
A truck driver hauling 4,800 gallons of hydrochloric acid smelled the foul odor of acid when he exited his semi after parking at the truck stop, the release stated. The driver put on his safety gear and discovered the acid leak coming from a faulty valve underneath the tank. At that point, he left the area and called the fire department.
“Upon firefighter arrival, they found that several gallons of the hydrochloric acid had leaked from the container and into a nearby storm drain,” the release stated. “A team of five San Bernardino County Fire Hazardous Materials Specialists arrived on scene and deemed the location a hazard and the truck stop was evacuated.”
An estimated 200 people were evacuated from the truck stop while the remaining acid was off-loaded into another carrier. The hazardous material cleanup continued into Tuesday morning.
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