Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The hazardous truth

From:  The VC Reporter 

One year later, a deeper look at what happened at the Santa Paula waste water site

By Kit Stolz 11/19/2015 


11-19-15 Feature
Aerial shot of Santa Clara Waste Water the day after the explosion, November 19th.

On Nov. 18, 2014, an explosion, fire and mile-long plume of toxic gas badly injured three firefighters and 12 employees at the Santa Clara Waste Water site near Santa Paula. Over 50 people, including a motorcyclist passing on Highway 126, were sent to the hospital for treatment after breathing in a cloud of black toxicity that included chlorine dioxide, a poisonous gas.

The three Santa Paula firefighters who were enveloped in the cloud have not recovered a year later and remain on medical leave. The fire truck they drove to the site at 3:45 in the morning was badly damaged in the explosion and subsequently had to be written off, after repeated attempts to decontaminate it, and despite its $500,000 cost.

In the immediate aftermath of the explosion, which led to a daylong evacuation and the declaration of a local emergency by Sheriff Geoff Dean, the closure of Hwy 126, and a “shelter in place” order at the county jail on Todd Road; the Ventura County District Attorney seized documents, computers and cell phones from the top executives at the company.  MORE