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900 in L.A. Flee Toxic Fumes

July 10, 1986

About 900 office workers were evacuated from a downtown building this morning when a dangerous mixture of cyanide and peroxide was spilled, forming a potentially dangerous gas, authorities said.

Fifteen gallons of the two chemicals were accidentally mixed and began giving off a toxic gas on the fifth floor of the Jewelry Trade Center at 220 West 5th St. about 9:30 a.m., City Fire Department spokesman Jim Wells said. The incident, which was confined to the fifth floor, occurred when the peroxide accidentally spilled into a container of cyanide, Wells said. When mixed, the two form a poisonous gas. All occupants of the nine-story building were evacuated as a safety precaution, Wells said.

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