On March 24, 1999, the Hazmat team was called to the Bedford High School to assist
the Bedford Fire Department with a "spill" in the Chemistry Lab.
A storage shelf had broken and numerous bottles of acids and caustics, including
hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, acetic acid and sodium hydroxide had been spilled
and mixed together. A vapor cloud had formed and was discovered by custodial personnel
before school opened.
The initial entry for an "unknown chemical spill" was made in Level A with flash
protection. The monitors showed no elevated LEL and no low oxygen. pH strips did
indicate an acid vapor in the area of the classroom.
pH paper also indicated the material
on the floor to be acidic. The first team reconned the area and inventoried the spilled
The second entry team removed the undamaged containers, secured the shelving
to prevent additional collapse, and removed flammables for a nearby potentially damaged
The site was ventilated and a clean-up plan was agreed upon and implemented.
School remained closed for four days during the cleanup operation by the cleanup