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Reno streets closed in hazmat scare reopened, no danger

August 8, 2019

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A hazmat scare shut down streets east of downtown Reno for about two hours Thursday afternoon before emergency crews determined it was an industrial cleaner that posed no public danger.

Police say a hazmat crew was called in after a city worker got sick from fumes while working in a manhole near Kietzke Lane at about noon.

Neighboring residents and businesses were urged to evacuate or stay indoors while crews investigated.

Reno Fire battalion chief Dirk Minore told the Reno Gazette Journal the gas was ethylene oxide, an industrial cleaner that was in the sewer for unknown reasons. He said two people exposed to the gas sought additional treatment but were doing well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says ethylene oxide is a colorless, flammable gas that can cause irritation of the eyes and skin.

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