Acidic Chemical Cloud Empties Conn. Apartments

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. --

A Middletown apartment complex was evacuated and three maintenance workers sent to the hospital after a container filled with an acidic chemical was found Thursday afternoon.

Officials said three maintenance workers found the container on the banks of Sumner Brook in the area of South Main Street while cleaning up trash at about 11:30 a.m.

Officials said when the workers tried to move the container, a clear liquid spilled out creating a vapor cloud.

"All of a sudden, there's pounding at the door," said resident Alyssa Broe. "She's telling me she's scared and there's firefighters suited up in masks on asking us to evacuate the building."

A nearby apartment building, which contains 82 units was evacuated after the discovery, officials said.

Members of the Department of Environmental Protection said they were unsure what the acidic chemical was, but said it produced a significant vapor cloud in the area.

Officials from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Middletown Fire Department evacuated an apartment complex on Thursday afternoon.

"They tried to pull a bucket from river bank, and its contents spilled out and threw up a cloud," said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Kronenberger.

Residents were being brought from the complex to to a gas station on South Main Street.

Officials said Pameacha Avenue was closed as a result of the evacuation.

The American Red Cross was said to be en route to assist residents who have been temporarily displaced as a result of the evacuation.

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