Wilson High School Evacuated Due to Acid Spill in Aquatic Center

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014  |  Updated 8:20 PM EDT
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A D.C. high school was evacuated and students were sent home following an acid spill Wednesday morning.

Mark Segraves

A D.C. high school was evacuated and students were sent home following an acid spill Wednesday morning.

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Chemical Spill Evacuates Wilson H.S.

A contractor accidentially ruptured an acid line at the school's aquatic center Wednesday morning. The worker was rushed to a hospital and classes were cancelled, and hazmat crews were called to the scene.
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A D.C. high school was evacuated and students were sent home following an acid spill Wednesday morning.

The muriatic acid was spilled when a contractor accidentally ruptured a line carrying the acid at Wilson Aquatic Center, which is adjacent to Wilson High School in Tenleytown.

The contractor was rushed to a hospital. A D.C. firefighter was also transported to the hospital, although the reason is unknown at this time.

Authorities evacuated the high school and aquatic center as a precaution. Muriatic acid is also known as hydrochloric acid; it is used to regulate the pH of swimming pools.

Hundreds of students waited outside at the nearby Fort Reno park before being moved to the nearby Alice Deal Middle School. Around 10:30 a.m., teachers told students they could go home for the day.

Dozens of D.C. Fire & EMS crew and ambulances were called to the scene. A chemical decontamination station was set up to scrub down hazmat teams going in and out of the aquatic center as they worked to contain the spill.

D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh asked the District Department of the Environment's hazmat team to evaluate the situation and conduct air and water quality testing to see if anyone beyond the school complex could be affected by the spill.

The pool will remain closed through the early morning swim Thursday but is expected to open later Thursday, officials said. Constituents will be contacted when the facility opens.

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