Haz Mat Alerts Residents to Stay Indoors, Seal Windows

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 10:59am

UPDATE: Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Doña Ana County Industrial Park reopened for business Tuesday night. Doña County Officials also said the Doña Ana County Airport at Santa Teresa reopened to air traffic and personnel.

The Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department, along with the New Mexico State Police, continue to investigate why so many people at the industrial park became ill.

Hazmat testing at the scene did not yield any results.



A Tuesday morning chemical spill in Santa Teresa near the port of entry prompted emergency response by the Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Service Department Hazardous Materials Response Team. About 250 industrial park employees were evacuated to Santa Teresa High school in the morning after complaints of breathing difficulties in the area.

The one-mile evacuation area around Industrial Park near the port of entry has been lifted since the morning, and the temporary shelter at Santa Teresa High School has been deactivated, officials said.

New Mexico State Police have requested a civil-support team from the New Mexico National Guard to deploy to the Doña Ana County Industrial Park at Santa Teresa to assist with monitoring and testing.

Students and faculty at Santa Teresa High school, where evacuees were sheltered, were not affected regarding class schedules. Several announcements were made to inform the campus of the school's involvement in the evacuation.

"The chemical spill did not occur on the campus of the Santa Teresa High School however emergency response personnel did use the campus auxiliary gym to house employees who were evacuated from the park," said Luis Villalobos, spokesperson for Gadsden Independent School District.

School officials said the industrial park accident did not in any way affect any students or personnel at the high school and did not affect the school's class schedule.

The industrial park itself remained evacuated. Hazmat crews remained in the industrial park taking samples to determine what might have sickened the individuals who sought and received treatment. The Doña Ana County Airport at Santa Teresa remains closed to air traffic.

No private residences were in the evacuation zone.


Reader Comments

by chance has this hit the water system? As I smelled this about an hour ago and was not aware of what had happened? (was in shower at the time and had a burning sensation in my nose) I am a retired EMT and know the odd smell. Is there a concern?

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