ARMSTRONG?- Emmet County Emergency Management Coordinator Terry Reekers said his office notified at about 8 a.m. Monday, July 23 of a large quantity of liquid mercury that had been accidently released in a residential area of Armstrong.
Upon further investigation it was determined that some small children had spilled approximately 20-25 pounds of liquid mercury in a sandbox at a residence.
An adult took the container of the liquid mercury to a local business in Armstrong and was showing it to several customers when it was dropped and the container broke open spilling the mercury on the floor. The business owner attempted to clean up the mercury, but instead it spread even more.
Emergency Responders from the Armstrong Fire/EMS Department, Armstrong Police, Emmet County Sheriff's Department, Emmet County Public Health and Emmet County Emergency Management contacted the Hazardous Materials Response Team in Mason City for assistance and they advised to barricade off the areas, but evacuations were not necessary at this time.
The Hazmat Team responded to the scene and began their evaluation of the two areas of the release. The residence was barricaded with Hazardous Mat tape and the residents were not allowed to come back until the spill is cleaned up by a professional Haz Mat response agency.
The local business in Armstrong will be closed until the hazardous material is cleaned up at that location also and air quality tests meet minimum standards. Also assisting at the release was the Iowa DNR, Environmental Protection Agency, Armstrong Methodist Church and Avera Holy Family Hospital.