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Fumes Force Evacuation of Newhall Businesses

February 19, 1986

A Newhall glass company and several nearby businesses were evacuated for nearly four hours Tuesday after a mildly toxic acid that at first was thought to be cyanide gas was found inside the glass company, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said.

The acid, in liquid and powder form, apparently came from a smokestack inside Thatcher Glass Co., 25655 Springbrook Ave. The company closed about six months ago and workmen were disassembling the plant Tuesday morning, fire Capt. Duane Lewis said.

County Fire Department hazardous materials teams were sent to the plant about 11:30 a.m. after two California Highway Patrol officers stopped to check an abandoned car on a highway about 100 yards from the plant. They were joined by a free-lance photographer. All three complained of eye irritation, Lewis said.

About 30 workers were evacuated from nearby commercial buildings for about four hours until authorities determined that it was a "low-hazard type of acid."

The county Health Services Department was trying to identify the substance, Lewis said.

There were no reports of injuries, he said.

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