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South Bay Digest

El Segundo : Spill Prompts Evacuation

July 17, 1986

Several employees were evacuated from three buildings near the Manhattan Village Mall Wednesday morning, and one woman was treated for inhaling toxic fumes, when a tanker truck spilled a mixture of hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid.

A 30-year-old woman, whose name was not available, was treated at the scene for "tightness in the chest" and later taken to South Bay Hospital for further evaluation, said Manhattan Beach Fire Capt. Tony Arce.

A movie theater within the mall and nearby office and medical buildings were evacuated about 10:30 a.m. while Manhattan Beach and El Segundo firefighters cleaned up the spill.

Between 2 and 10 gallons of the chemical mixture leaked onto Rosecrans Avenue as the truck was turning into the rear entrance at the Allied-Signal Inc. plant at 850 Sepulveda Boulevard. The hydrochloric acid mixture, commonly known as muriatic acid and used to clean swimming pools, in concentrated doses can cause nausea, breathing difficulty and eye, ear and throat irritation, fire officials said.

Fire officials say the toxic leak could have been caused by over-pressurization complicated by warm weather.

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