Monday, May 17, 2010

Haz Mat

The crash call came in and I didn't think it was going to be good. The dispatch was for a two vehicle accident with a chlorine spill out in the rural area near Interstate 5. I grabbed my gear and headed out the door as they made the call for crews to respond to the haz mat.

A hazardous materials or haz mat for short can be one of the most boring scenes you can imagine. It is a lot of hurry up and wait as crews prepare to enter the scene of potentially toxic spill. The reward for a photographer's patience is pictures of crews in their special chemical-resistant suits often dubbed "gumby suits" for their nice green color.

This crash turned out to be a pool cleaning company truck colliding with a flat bed trailer, The pick up was heavily mangled sending it's cleaning chemicals across the roadway. Crews determined that the chemicals were stable enough to be removed from the truck and sorted for cleanup.

I kept my distance, I really didn't want to get a whiff of the chlorine spilled on the roadway and stayed long enough to get some action shots of the crews in their suits. The driver of the pick up was injured form the crash impact and then by some of the chemicals he was carrying. I guess it could have been much worse and aside from a road closed for a few hours for the cleanup it didn't end to bad.

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