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Halliburton Spill Results in Acid Cloud

Associated Press
      FARMINGTON — Halliburton Energy Services is investigating a hazardous materials spill that spawned a vapor cloud and forced the evacuation of more than 200 residents.
    Halliburton employees were mixing acid in a concrete containment area when a spill occurred Monday. The company had a 600-gallon tank of the chemical, called acidizing composition, and 30 to 60 gallons leaked, said Mike Mestas, hazardous materials team coordinator for the Farmington Fire Department.
    The acid, used for fracturing natural gas wells, apparently reacted with something and created the potentially dangerous cloud.
    The acid can cause eye and skin irritation and at the right temperatures, it can ignite, fire officials said.
    Fire Chief Robert Martin said the acid vapors can were not concentrated enough to be much more than an irritant, but added, ''Everyone reacts differently.''
    Police at first had everyone in two trailer parks adjacent to the Halliburton grounds turn off their air conditioners, shut their windows and stay inside Monday night. But less than 20 minutes later, police evacuated the area, Mestas said.
    The Red Cross estimated more than 220 people came to two evacuation sites.

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