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Chemical spill at National City business prompts hazmat response, evacuations

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Posted at 9:28 AM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 15:10:17-05

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. - A chemical spill at a National City business prompted a hazardous materials team response and the evacuation of nearby residents and businesses.

The incident was reported shortly before 9 a.m. at Prochem Specialty Products, located in the 100 block of East 18th St., near National City Blvd. Authorities said an oxidizing agent in a 55-gallon plastic drum began burning behind the business, sending gas and smoke into the air.

10News learned the business mixes chemicals for a water treatment plant.

Workers at the business tried in vain to halt the out-of-control chemical reaction with extinguishers prior to the arrival of firefighters, city emergency-services Director Frank Parra said.

Officials said residents and businesses in the area of 17th and 18th streets, between B Ave. and National City Blvd., were evacuated. An evacuation center was opened at Sweetwater High School's Old Gym on 2900 Highland Ave.

Students and staff members at two nearby schools were told to stay indoors, according to authorities.

Shortly after 11:50 a.m., authorities lifted the evacuation order.

No injuries were reported.