Continuing Coverage: Hazardous materials found in Richland County; 2 dangerous chemicals - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Continuing Coverage: Hazardous materials found in Richland County; 2 dangerous chemicals

Posted:

(update 9/25/08 6:38PM) From Richland County

Picric Acid and Ethyl Ether Detonated In Richland County

Richland County Emergency Management Director Darin Gudgeon announced that hazardous materials know as Picric Acid and Ethyl Ether were found and successfully destroyed in Richland County around 5pm today.  The chemicals were discovered on Hell Hollow Road just outside of the Township of Ithaca.  Due to the nature of the materials, a 3 mile evacuation around the property began at 1:45pm today.  Residents were permitted to return home around 5:30pm.

Gudgeon stated that the operation was carried out successfully.  Clean-up efforts continue, but all dangerous materials have been disposed of.   The Ithaca School District evacuation to Wal-Mart in Richland Center was carried out smoothly and all children have been returned to their parents. 

The previous land owner was a chemist with his own private research lab on the property.  The chemist was very familiar and experienced with these chemicals and the lab was properly engineered for his research.  Since his passing, his family was attempting to clean-up the recently sold property and requested the assistance of the UW-Richland Chemistry Department.  The family quickly responded when the hazardous materials were discovered and notified Richland County Emergency Management for assistance.  The family and new landowner were forthcoming with the information and very cooperative during the entire operation.  No illegal activity has been reported. 

Richland County Emergency Management was assisted by the Richland County Sheriff's Department, Richland Center Fire Department, Richland County EMS, the Chemistry Department of UW-Richland, Vernon County Hazmat Team, Madison Fire Hazmat Team, and the Dane County Bomb Squad.

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(update 9/25/08 - 5:24PM) Haz Mat teams have destroyed the materials found on a farm in Richland County in Ithaca.

27 News has learned the substances were Picric Acid and Ethyl Ether. The previous owner of the farm passed away and his son found it and called for help to remove the explosive substances.

27 News has learned the man who used to live there was a chemist. The two substances are used to do experiments on precious metals.

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Ithaca (WKOW) -- from Richland Co. Emergency Management:  Richland County Emergency Management Director Darin Gudgeon announced that a landowner contacted his office requesting assistance with the removal of hazardous materials from a home located in the Ithaca area Friday.

  Gudgeon reports that no unlawful activity has occurred and qualified individuals have been called in to address the situation. 

  Due to the nature of the materials, a 3 mile evacuation around the scene began at 1:45pm.

  Citizens are being asked to stay clear of the Ithaca area until the site is rendered safe. 

  An announcement will be made on WRCO updating citizens on the situation and informing them as to when they can return home. 

  The Ithaca School District is implementing their evacuation procedures at this time and all children are being evacuated to Wal-Mart in Richland Center. 

  Parents may pick up their children in the parking lot of Wal-Mart.

  There is no loss of electricity in the area.

  Emergency management officials expect residents to be back in their homes by early evening.

  Richland County Emergency Management is being assisted by the Richland County Sheriff's Department, Richland Center Fire Department, Richland County EMS, the Chemistry Department of UW-Richland, Vernon County Hazmat Team, Madison Fire Hazmat Team, and the Dane County Bomb Squad.

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