Crews Contain Chemical Spill In Oklahoma City

Sunday, September 7th 2014, 12:09 am
By: News 9

A chemical spill from a lab in Northwest Oklahoma City has neighbors complaining of burning eyes.

Firefighters received several calls from residents saying there was a noticeable, disturbing smell in the area.

So that's when crews showed up to a nearby laboratory and found the leak.

Crews surrounded the Ra-Nav Laboratories building on Northwest 39th and Drexel. They tested water and took samples after residents complained of chemical exposure.

"A caustic burning to their eyes, and acrid smell, and it's noticeable but it's dissipated a lot since then," said Oklahoma City Fire Maj. Pat King.

Not sure how long the substance had been leaking, Oklahoma City Hazmat crews checked drainage ditches to see if the chemicals had entered the water.

"Especially knowing that the rain was potentially washing this down the street and through the neighborhood, and you know there are a lot of kids in the neighborhood," said five-year resident Justin Connelly.

Fire officials weren't sure what the chemical was, saying it may have been some type of paint thinner, aviation fuel or alcohol-based substance, which was alarming for residents.

"If your news crew hadn't been by earlier, I wouldn't have even known there was a chemical spill up there and that my drinking water potentially could have been compromised," Connelly said.

“That's what makes it really scary, not only are the chemicals there, but when it goes on and something happens, you don't necessarily know what's going on in your neighborhood.”

Crews were able to contain the chemical spill to the loading dock of the laboratory. They put up cones and had the area isolated to prevent the substance from going downstream.

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"It's all sorts of health hazards, and now we don't know, that's kind of scary," Connelly said.

Oklahoma City's Storm water quality team will do additional testing on any possible downstream effects.

Officials don't know what caused the spill, but say the water is safe to drink.

The owner of Ra-Nav Lab was not available to comment. The laboratory designs electronic, military and aviation equipment according to its Web site.