UPDATE 4/7/2022 5:30 P.M.)
We now know more details about the hydrochloric acid spill yesterday in Marion County.
According to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the truck driver hauling the chemical noticed a leak in the tank and pulled over to inspect the issue.
The DEP estimated that 1,700 gallons of hydrochloric acid was spilled.
After noticing the leak, officials dug a trench to contain the acid and prevent it from spreading before an acid neutralizer was used.
According to the DEP, no injuries were reported in the incident.
The spill caused the section of U.S. Route 250 to close for most of the day on Wednesday, and led to several neighboring houses being evacuated.
ORIGINAL (4/6/2022, 4:28 P.M.)
FAIRMONT, W.Va. – A section of Route 250 in Marion County is closed and several homes have been evacuated due to an acid spill.
The incident happened right before 3 p.m., near the Pine Grove Bridge, in the Barrackville area, 911 officials said.
In the incident, an unknown amount of hydrochloric acid was spilled from a transport truck, officials said, shutting down the roadway and causing the evacuation of several nearby homes. The truck was carrying 40,000 pounds of hydrochloric acid and leaking one to two pounds per minute, according to Marion County 911 center officials. Crews are working to transfer the chemical from the leaking truck to another transport vehicle.
Hazardous materials teams, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department were all on the scene, Wednesday afternoon, according to 911 officials.
The road will be closed for at least six to 12 hours.
Traffic will be diverted at the Pine Grove Bridge on the north side as well as the soccer complex on the south side, according to a Facebook post by Marion County Homeland Security & Emergency Management.
What is hydrochloric acid?
According to the Encyclopedia of Toxicology, hydrochloric acid is commonly used as a bleach and in some foods, textiles, metals and rubbers. It is also commonly used as part of the fracking process. When it comes in contact with soil, it is neutralized. When exposed to water, it reacts and breaks down.
Transport through the soil could cause contamination of groundwater and could cause some of the soil to dissolve. In gas form, exposure to the acid can cause eye irritation and damage and even loss of sight. Inhaling it causes severe irritation with coughing and a choking sensation, according to the encyclopedia.
This is a developing story. Stick with 12 News for Breaking News updates.