LILLIAN, Ala. (WKRG) – Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency Director Zach Hood confirms his office responded to a hazmat situation overnight in Lillian. Hood says he can only speculate what occurred, but the incident involved a safe dating back to the early 1900’s.
“Some safe manufacturers created safes back in the early 1900’s that if you broke a safe open you’d have some sort of reaction, almost like a pepper spray, in order to protect valuables inside the safe,” Hood said.
According to Hood, a resident on White Osprey Drive was unloading a large antique safe from a cargo trailer when the safe dropped to the ground. At this point the safe was breached and the owner noticed something inside. Hood says the safe had 4 ampoules inside. Ampoules are small, glass vials containing types of solutions.
Baldwin County EMA, Lillian Volunteer Fire Department and several other agencies responded to the scene. Hood confirms only 4 homes had to be evacuated overnight, but says none of the residents were ever exposed to harmful chemicals. The hazmat scene lasted about 6 hours and was cleared as of 4:30 a.m. Friday morning.
“This was a best case scenario,” Hood explained. He tells WKRG News 5 they may never know what was inside the ampoules because they won’t be opened for safety reasons. They will be destroyed in a safe manner, he says.