Chemical Reaction Forces Evac in NC

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 @ 11:10 AM gHale

Multiple neighborhoods evacuated after a chemical reaction at an Archdale, NC, environmental plant Monday.

The reaction occurred at 5:39 p.m. at A&D Environmental Services, located at 2718 Uwharrie Road. It initially came out as a fire/hazmat call.

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Residents of Circle Drive, Circle Drive Extension, Bowen Drive and a portion of Uwharrie Road evacuated because of the reaction, according to High Point Fire Department firefighters.

The reaction occurred when sodium bicarbonate, which was in a covered area outside of the building, reacted with an unknown chemical and caused a vapor to go into the air, said Glenn Clapp, manager of the City of High Point Office of Emergency Management.

Clapp said the vapor could be potentially harmful so officials evacuated about 35 homes in the area as a precautionary measure.

Air quality testing occurred in neighborhoods and there was nothing harmful found, Clapp said.

Crews cleaned up the scene and loaded the sodium bicarbonate into a truck.

Sodium bicarbonate is a standard chemical they work with and this was a very out of the ordinary occurrence, said Shawn King, spokesperson for A&D Environmental.

There were no injuries in the incident.