Hazmat situation near Brander Street - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Hazmat situation near Brander Street

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Haz Mat situation at the Richmond Waste Water Treatment Facility has been cleared. Around noon today, crews left the scene after saying they stopped the sulfur dioxide leak about 6 hours after it first occurred.

Police cars blocked the way into the waste water treatment plant, keeping our cameras about a mile away from the site.

We joined people like Chris Rossi, who works on the site, on the outside, looking in.

"Pulled around the corner to go into the job site and cops were blocking the road. They said they had a sulfur dioxide leak. I'm a volunteer firefighter in Hanover, so I checked out my handy dandy hazmat guide and evacuation methods," says Rossi.  

This, as fire and haz mat crews from Henrico and Richmond were on the site trying to isolate the leak and eventually stop it.

Crews did say when they arrived, they smelled the leak.

Around 8:30 AM, 3 hours after it started, crews believed the leak stopped. But turns out, that wasn't true.

"We want to do things in a safe manner. Just as we came to work today, we want to go home in the same manner to our family and friends," says Lt. Shawn Jones, with the Richmond Fire Dept.   

To do that, a very lengthy process was started, including shutting off valves around the leak.

"Anytime you are dealing with a Haz Mat situation, it requires time to gather info. Sometimes we send in a reconnaissance team to determine what's leaking," says Lt. Shawn Jones.  

Then crews have to send in the equipment needed to control, stop and clean up the leak.

Despite the leak, we're told the water was never contaminated and no one living in the area was affected.

"Makes for a long day. Gotta work until 5:30pm. I rather be working to make my day go by even faster," adds Chris.

We're told from fire crews they believe the leak was coming from a pipe, that was old and simply deteriorating.

We're  also told only a few workers were on the site when the accident happened and no one was injured.

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