Vapor blocks street access

traffic in, out of city detoured

October 28, 2003|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

City police shut down highway access to Russell Street near Interstate 95 early today because of dense, low clouds of vapor believed to have come from a chemical waste treatment and transfer complex.

Traffic into and out of Baltimore was detoured from the area as city firefighters attempted to determine the composition of the vapor and pin down its source. No injuries were reported, and no nearby businesses or homes were evacuated, police said.

The dense clouds were reported near the entrance to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, and over sections of Westport and downtown Baltimore about 12:45 a.m., and were dissipating about an hour later, the police department said.

The fire department said the source appeared to be Clean Harbors Environmental Services in the 1900 block of Russell St., a treatment facility for industrial wastewaters and transfer station for other industrial wastes.

A police and fire department command post was set up at the Quality Motel in the 1700 block of Russell St., while scores of motorist were turned away by police officers dispatched to the scene from the Southern and Southwestern districts, assisted by Anne Arundel County and Maryland Transportation Authority police.

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