Toxic Cloud Forces Evacuation of 400

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An acid vapor cloud from a Glendale business forced officials to evacuate more than 400 residents Friday morning and injured five persons.

The red cloud was caused by an accidental mixture of 200 gallons of nitric acid with other chemicals, Glendale Fire Capt. Craig Moore said.

The incident occurred shortly after 9 a.m. at American Metaseal Co. of Southern California, an anodizing firm at 701 W. Broadway. Officials sealed off two blocks of the largely residential neighborhood, which is bordered by an industrial zone along San Fernando Road.


Operators of a convalescent home within the evacuation area were ordered to keep 150 residents inside and to close all doors and windows, Moore said.

Three firefighters, one Metaseal employee and one Glendale city worker, who were in the area when the cloud appeared, suffered minor burns. They were treated at Glendale Memorial Hospital and released, hospital spokeswoman Laurel Verbanick said.