Chemical Spill Closes Intersection
4 Taken To Hospital After Hazardous Material Spilled
POSTED: 12:12 pm CDT August 23, 2004
UPDATED: 6:36 pm CDT August 23, 2004
OMAHA, Neb. -- A cyanide compound was identified as the chemical that closed an Omaha intersection Monday.
Video: Investigators Working To Identify Chemical
A two-car collision closed the intersection of 40th and Leavenworth streets. Investigators said two cars collided, then one of the drivers evidently swallowed cyanuric choride. He became violently ill and was taken to a hospital.
A terrorism task force is investigating. The firefighter and police officer who came to the driver's aid were hurt, too, and transported to a hospital.
"If you get it on the skin, it causes caustic burns," said Battalion Chief Rob Prucha, with the Omaha Fire Department. "We flush it with copious amounts of water and the hazard is removed. Imagine ingesting this substance -- so that person's condition is much worse."
Jeff Tarpinian's FBI terrorism task force is working on the case, but he said there is no reason to believe the incident is related to terrorism.
The firefighter and officer should be fine.
The driver of the other car involved in the collision was decontaminated on the street, then taken to a hospital to be checked out. His car is registered in Florida. Investigators have to wait until he recovers to question him.
"We have enough information on the driver to do a background on him, see where he's been, what he's up to, get background information on him," Tarpinian said.
The contaminated cars were towed. The police car and the other car in the accident will be returned soon.
That's why he's working on it.