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UPDATE: Oshkosh police lift evacuation order after chemical spill


OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - Authorities in Oshkosh lifted an evacuation order on the city's south side following a chemical spill near Hydrite Chemical.

Hydrite officials say nearly 600 gallons of muriatic acid, a form of hydrochloric acid, spilled at their facility. It was initially reported just before 1 p.m. Friday. 

About 4 p.m., fire crews say the spill was contained and is cleaned up.

The acid spilled from a crack in a tank which holds about 7,000 gallons. Firefighters say a barrier previously set up to contain spills did its job.

An area between W. 28th Avenue on the north, W. Waukau Avenue on the south, Perimeter Road to the west and Bradley Road to the east had to be evacuated. Police asked those south of 28th Avenue to leave that area, while those north of 28th Ave. were asked to stay indoors, close all windows and doors and turn off air conditioning.

Those who were evacuated were asked to go to South Park, where Winnebago County Emergency Management officials set up the park's shelters.

According to police, muriatic acid can burn the respiratory tract if you breathe it in. If you believe you are feeling the effects of acid, move to fresh air. If the symptoms do not stop, seek medical attention immediately.

No injuries have been reported so far. A company spokesperson says, as of 2:45 p.m., no hazardous vapors were detected at the company's downwind fenceline.

An Oshkosh Corp. spokesman says the spill has caused the company to shut down operations at the South, North, West, 20th St. and E-Coat plants. Second shifts have been called off at those plants. The Harrison St. and Oakwood St. plants are still open and are not affected.