Lab Owner Says NW OKC Chemical Spill Not His Company's Fault


Sunday, September 7th 2014, 11:02 pm
By: News 9


New information has come to light on a weekend chemical spill in northwest Oklahoma City.

Fire officials say the spill originated from the loading dock or nearby company on Saturday, but the owner of that company says that's not the case, and he thinks the chemical was dumped on his property.

Ra-Nav Laboratories, Inc. assembles radio and navigation equipment and is contracted by the Department of Defense (DoD) and several federal agencies and aviation companies. The company's owner says they don't use harmful chemicals inside their building and could not have caused a chemical spill.

"There just wasn't anything here,” said Don Perry, president of Ra-Nav Laboratories. "The fire department dug up dirt from our neighbors and made them a little dam, to contain a chemical spill, but there was no chemical spill. There was nothing to contain."

It was a different scene from the day before, when several firefighters and Hazmat crews had NW 39th St. and Drexel surrounded, with nearby residents complaining of a chemical leak.

9/6/2014 Related Story: Crews Contain Chemical Spill In Oklahoma City

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

Crews tested water and took samples, not sure how long the substance had been leaking.

"Just concerning to know that there are those kind of chemicals down there and no one knew about it. It kind of makes me uneasy now to know that it's there in a residential neighborhood," said resident Justin Connelly.

But Perry assures it wasn't from his lab. But if not from there, then where did it come from?

"Somebody has backed up and dumped something because again, we don't have the chemicals here to cause a smell like that. And the fire department confirmed that," Perry said.

Perry says people have dumped trash, oil and furniture and have even set the loading dock area on fire before. He says it's been a small, safe family-owned business since 1968.

“I grew up here as a small kid, when my dad was running the place. I have small children who are up here all the time and we don't have anything in this building that would be toxic or cause any kind of environmental harm to the surrounding area," Perry said.

Perry says the Lab has multiple security cameras, which he will be reviewing to see exactly what happened.