Hazmat situation cleared in Town of Niagara

PHOTO courtesy of The Action.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) –Crews have officially cleared the hazmat situation at the Wegmans parking lot on Military Road in Niagara Falls.

The shelter in place for affected areas in the Town of Niagara was lifted just after 6 pm as well as the state of emergency for the town.

Crews successfully  transferred flammable and possibly explosive material into a new tanker.

Around 10 p.m. Monday, a tractor trailer carrying liquid hydrogen was attempting to turn around in the Wegman’s parking lot when it hit the base of a light pole.

One of the lines on the truck broke, allowing hydrogen to begin leaking from the truck. The driver of the truck was not hurt.

Since the incident, Crews were on scene for more than 20 hours to stop the leak so the tank can be repressurized and the hydrogen can be loaded into other tankers.

Hydrogen is flammable and can be explosive, crews were working carefully and cautiously.

Military Road reopen around 7 Tuesday night.

The Niagara Falls Airport also closed as precautionary measure.

Wegmans was evacuated and closed after the initial crash.

The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls are also closed on Tuesday. Here is their statement:

“At the request from local authorities, Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, USA has evacuated and will be closed for business on Tuesday, Oct. 24 to allow for an effective clean-up of the hazmat situation on Military Road.

While the Fashion Outlets property is not in direct contact with the leak, the safety of our guests and retailers is our top priority. We are actively cooperating with Niagara Falls Emergency Services and look forward to re-opening tomorrow.”

“Fortunately, the time this happened, there wasn’t a lot of cars in the parking lot, so as far as evacuations and moving people from here, it was a lot easier,” Niagara County Emergency Services Director Jonathan Schultz said. “Many people did leave the area right away when it happened, saw what happened, we were very fortunate.”

Wegmans on Military Road will open Wednesday at 7 a.m.

Praxair has been assisting emergency officials in addressing the situation with the leaking hydrogen. The truck that crashed into the pole is not a Praxair vehicle.

Emergency officials say when hydrogen leaks, it dissipates into the atmosphere. They say leaving the truck to leak the rest of its contents is not an option though, because that could take days.

A number of homes close to the Wegmans parking lot were evacuated Tuesday. The residents of about 80 homes that are within 1,500 feet of the scene were asked to shelter in place.



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