Chemical leak leads to evacuation at Port Everglades

Hazmat team deals with container leak

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Authorities evacuated an area of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to deal with a chemical leak on Friday, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

The BSO Department of Fire Rescue hazardous materials team's action centered at a warehouse, 4300 McIntosh Road, west of the Stranahan River and east of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.  

BSO Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said a port employee noticed a sodium cyanide tank was leaking.

The report prompted the evacuation of some 65 workers about 7 p.m. Sodium cyanide is poisonous and may be fatal if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Jachles said the crews determined the substance that was in the tank that had just returned from the Dominican Republic was not a hazardous chemical. Authorities suspect the leak may be liquid left over from when the tank was cleaned out after transporting sodium cyanide. 

The leak happened a day after Airgas Doral Inc. plead guilty to federal charges that it violated hazardous materials regulations. An argon gas leak that killed three Broward men at Port Everglades prompted an investigation on the company's practices. 

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