Residents evacuated due to hazardous materials incident near Chesaning

This septic pump truck was removing liquid from an underground storage tank, which actually was...
This septic pump truck was removing liquid from an underground storage tank, which actually was a caustic corrosive chemical, creating a hazardous materials incident.(source: WJRT)
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 2:11 PM EST
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CHESANING, Mich. (WJRT) - A handful of residences along Sharon Road near Chesaning were evacuated Thursday due to a hazardous materials situation at an excavating company.

Elite Excavating in the 15000 block of Sharon Road hired a septic tank pumping company to empty an underground storage tank. The company and the truck operator were not aware that the buried tank actually contained a caustic corrosive chemical.

When the pump truck operator began emptying the contents of the underground tank into his truck, the chemical ate a hole in the hose and some spilled onto the ground. The truck operator turned off the pump and left the area without any serious injuries.

The Chesaning-Brady Fire Department, Thomas Township Fire Department and hazardous materials crews all responded to investigate the contents of the underground tank. A hazardous materials cleanup crew from Young’s Environmental in Flint was called in to pump out the contents of the tank and the septic truck for safe disposal.

Five residences along Sharon Road were evacuated as a precaution during the incident. Emergency crews also closed a stretch of Sharon Road around the 15000 block.

Incident commanders on the scene were not sure what the underground tank contained.

The site where Elite Excavating is located previously was the Peet meat packing plant, which closed in 1997. Authorities believe the tank and its likely sat underground and undetected for decades.

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