WATCH: Esquimalt A&W taped off for hazmat incident

Traffic closed between Dominion Road and Head Street

Esquimalt A&W was evacuated due to a Hazmat incident Friday afternoon.

“We were called to a local restaurant due to a mixture of a couple of chemicals that one of the employees had accidentally put together,” said Ray Saurette, Assistant Fire Chief of the Esquimalt Fire and Rescue.

The chemicals created a reaction which jeopardized the health and safety of employees and customers.

Up to six employees were attended to by first responders, just after noon.

The fire department alerted the hazmat team, who will take one to two hours to make a full assessment. This is the second event in Saurette’s career that he’s utilized the hazmat team.

“We think it’s contained and stable at this point but the chemicals that are there, we still don’t know if they are reacting,” said Saurette.

When combined with certain chemicals, the cleaning agent chlorine creates a process known as “off-gassing”.

“It’s very dangerous, especially if you’re getting a by-product that you’re not accustomed to,” said Saurette. “In this particular case, it was hazardous to respiratory system and eyes.”

All employees and customers evacuated the premise safely. Approximately three people received treatment for minor injuries. No one required hospitalization.

Esquimalt Road is closed to traffic between Dominion Road and Head Street. The area around the restaurant has been taped off to protect the public.

anna.james@vicnews.com

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