A chemical for cleaning swimming pools leaked from a truck in St. Anthony on Thursday morning, causing residents of an apartment complex, a senior high-rise and a health care center to be told to remain inside.
Emergency responders from at least nine local agencies and two state agencies converged shortly after 10 a.m. at the site where a truck driver noticed his vehicle was leaking one of two chemicals he was carrying as he turned onto 37th Avenue N. The driver parked the truck, ran from it and reported the leak, St. Anthony Fire Chief John Malenick said.
Workers contained the leak about 11 a.m. After determining it was muriatic acid, or hydrochloric acid, they neutralized it with baking soda; that converted it to salt, water and carbon dioxide gas, which they washed into storm sewers, said Sam Brungardt, spokesman for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
A firefighter and a police officer had some breathing problems during the incident but did not appear to be seriously injured, Malenick said.
The leak apparently occurred when a barrel in the truck cracked.