Omaha Evacuation After Hydrochloric Spill

A two mile area in south Omaha was evacuated last night after a B-N-S-F rail car loaded with hydrochloric acid developed a leak.  The leak itself was quickly contained but the neighborhood surrounding the area was evacuated as a precaution.  Fire and Haz-Mat crews were called to the scene just after 6pm.  A Burlington Northern team from Arkansas was called into Omaha to help make decisions on how to clean up the 150 gallons of acid which can cause eye and skin irritation and can damage respiratory organs.  No injuries were reported.  City buses were called in to help with the evacuation.  All of those forced to leave their homes were taken to a station where the Salvation Army and the Omaha Police Department helped in making arrangements for the night.  Several hotels offered free rooms to those evicted.  The Omaha Royal’s were playing at Rosenblatt Stadium and that game was cancelled and those attending were sent home.  Also, the Henry Doorly Zoo was evacuated.  The zoo took precautions so all the animals were housed indoors.  They were not in any danger.  The evacuation has been lifted and residents are now allowed to back into their homes.