Video report: Haz-mat crews called to Chatham gas station for mercury spill

CHATHAM – Around 2 PM Wednesday, a significant amount of mercury spilled from what is believed to be an old barometer in a utility room at Meservey’s Shell Gas Station located on Route 28 at George Ryder Road. Chatham Fire and Rescue immediately called for a Tier 1 Haz-Mat response bringing in specialists in cleaning up the hazardous material. No injuries reported and the gas station will be closed until the cleanup is complete.

From Chatham Fire: Just after 11:45 AM on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, the Chatham Fire Department received a call from the Police Department requesting a response to investigate a possible mercury spill in a storage closet at Meservey’s Shell gas station – 1698 Main St. Fire Department crews investigated and confirmed a spill of a product from an antique weather barometer believed to be mercury. The building was evacuated, the store was closed, and the property was secured from the public. One employee had a minor exposure but had no medical complaints. A second employee walked through the storage area but was not exposed. There were no patrons affected by the spill. 

Captain Mark Higgins requested a Tier 1 HazMat team response through the Department of Fire Services. HazMat team members confirmed the product to be mercury, monitored the atmosphere inside the store and ventilated the building as necessary. HazMat crews also utilized specialized vacuums to clean up the spilled mercury. All responders and store employees were monitored to ensure the product was contained to the storage closet. Any contaminated goods, materials, and clothing were sealed in overpack drums and will be appropriately disposed of by a private contractor. 

The Health Division responded to the property as well and ordered closure of the store until a comprehensive cleanup could be conducted by a private licensed environmental contractor. The Health Division advised the owner which consumer products would need to be disposed of. 

The building was secured and the owner was advised not to enter the structure until cleanup was completed. Nobody was injured during the response and the public was/is not at any risk. All units cleared the scene by 4:50 PM.
Photo and video by Jake O’Callaghan/CWN

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