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Aberdeen chemical facility is evacuated

Workers evacuated the neutralization building at the Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility about 7 a.m. yesterday after smoke was detected.

Smoke detectors inside the unoccupied neutralization area sounded the alarm after smoke began coming from a carbon filter drum that vented a rinse water tank.

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Workers in other areas of the building followed procedures, immediately masked themselves and evacuated.

No one was injured, and no mustard agent vapor was released.

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The fire safety system automatically shut down the facility's ventilation system after detecting the smoke. Chemical agent monitors within the neutralization bay and adjacent rooms detected very low levels of agent vapor after the shutdown of the ventilation system. Agent monitors elsewhere in the building did not detect agent vapor, however, indicating that the agent vapor remained within the confines of the neutralization bay and adjacent rooms.

The Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department responded, and the facility's ventilation system was restored at 10:40 a.m.

Officials are investigating the cause of the incident.


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