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Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

WESTWOOD : Acid Cloud Forces 100 to Evacuate UCLA Building

August 03, 1993

About 100 people were evacuated from a UCLA building and 14 were treated for headaches and nausea Monday afternoon after a worker accidentally combined two chemicals in a disposal yard, sending a cloud of hydrochloric acid wafting into the air, officials said.

The incident occurred about 3 p.m. when a worker poured selenium oxychloride into a container that contained another chemical, said Los Angeles City Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.

Authorities reported that the cloud dispersed almost immediately.

Six companies of city firefighters, two paramedics and hazardous materials teams from the city and UCLA responded to evacuate students and staff from Building 58, which houses administrative services on the west side of campus. About 14 people were taken to the UCLA Hospital Medical Center for treatment.

Hydrochloric acid is a common chemical with a variety of scientific and manufacturing uses and its toxicity depends on its concentration. Officials said they were investigating the toxicity of Monday's incident but were not anticipating further problems.

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