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Chemical Fume Accident Injures Eight

August 2, 1985

SAN CARLOS, Calif. (AP) _ Toxic fumes escaped from an industrial plant during a conversion process involving nitric and hydrofluoric acids, forcing the evacuation of three city blocks and injuring eight people, authorino-

″The kind of chemicals involved, its quantity, and its close proximity to other businesses made it very critical,″ said fire inspector Kathy Sinclair.

Nitric acid and hydrofluoric acid fumes escaped from a 55-gallon drum Thursday during a routine process to convert the chemicals from liquid to solid for disposal, said South County Police Chief Gary Schmitz.

The drum belonged to Harris-Farion Corp., a microwave radio manufacturer, Schmitz said.

The vapors were contained within three hours, Schmitz said. He did not know how many businesses or workers were evacuated, but an employee of Harris- Farion said the company has 650 workers in several buildings.

The chemical drum later was hauled away by a private disposal company, Sinclair said.

A San Carlos policeman was treated at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City for slight acid burns on his face, throat, and lungs, and was released, said fira department battalion chief Carl St. Clair.

Seven other people were treated for minor headaches, eye irritation and mild respiratory distress, said nursing supervisor Lola Lambert.

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