1,100 gallons of chlorine spills in Cocoa Beach
Officials investigate cause of spill
COCOA BEACH, Fla. – More than 1,000 gallons of chlorine spilled from a plastic tank Thursday morning at a Cocoa Beach pool service store, causing the evacuation of a nearby apartment complex.
"There were no injuries whatsoever," said Jack Kidder, manager of Ashley's Pool & Irrigation, located at 685 State Road A1A. "By the grace of God, the rain helped."
Upon arriving at work at about 7:15 a.m., employees discovered the 1,500-gallon tank behind the store had broken apart, Kidder said, emptying 1,100 gallons of chlorine into the parking lot and a storm drain that leads to the Banana River.
"I went to the back and saw that the whole tank had been just destroyed," Kidder said. "I don't believe that it was vandalism."
Kidder said security camera footage did not show any vehicles entering the area or any other suspicious activity.
The tank breached around 5:30 a.m. Thursday, city fire officials said.
"There doesn't appear to be any foul play," said Mark Austin, deputy chief with the Cocoa Beach Fire Department. "After the initial spill, the majority of it went into the stormwater drains."
No dead fish or other dead marine life were reported in the Banana River.
The fire department received the call reporting the incident at 7:27 a.m.
About 20 people in a nearby apartment complex on Catalina Road were evacuated for about two hours.
"Just precautionary," Austin said. "It can burn and blister your skin."
Firefighters, a hazardous materials team from Brevard County, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection responded to the scene.
Water samples found the chlorine had been neutralized by the heavy rains, officials said.
The pool store remains open.
"We're not going to let this set us back," Kidder said.
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