Chemicals released at gas station in West Hartford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Chemicals released at gas station in West Hartford


A gas station in West Hartford is closed, after the fire suppression system malfunctioned and sprayed chemicals on customers Wednesday afternoon.

The fire suppression system, which was located in the canopy above the gas tanks, suddenly unloaded its dry chemical extinguishing system at the Stop & Shop Supermarket gas station on Newington Road around 2 p.m.

Emergency crews made sure there was no fire or explosion, then helped everyone get the chemical off of them.

No fire or explosion occurred, however the loud boom that many people reported hearing was the system pressuring itself before releasing the chemical, according to fire officials. 

The chemical is Sodium Bicarbonate, essentially baking soda and can sting if a lot gets in a person's eyes.

One person was sent to an area hospital with head and neck injuries. The injuries are believed to not be life-threatening.

Other people were decontaminated at the scene, and refused treatment at a local hospital.

The gas station will remain closed, until the fire suppression system is repaired to fire marshal's satisfaction.

Fire officials said the extreme heat could be the cause of the malfunction, however the cause remains under investigation.

Officials had just completed its twice annual maintenance of the fire suppression system.

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