NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Emergency crews scrambled to the submarine base in Groton around 11:15 a.m. Wednesday after a hazardous chemical was spilled inside one of the subs.
The Navy says it was a minor spill, but it was a haz-mat situation nonetheless, so emergency crews from several surrounding towns responded accordingly.
Eight sailors and one firefighter were taken to area hospitals for observation after being exposed to potassium hydroxide. The chemical was being used during maintenance of the atmosphere control equipment aboard the USS Annapolis. Officials say a gallon of the chemical spilled in the auxiliary machinery room.
The nine people contaminated were chemically decontaminated and transported to area medical facilities as a precaution. The spill was contained within the submarine, which is docked at Pier 33.
Haz-mat crews from several towns responded for the clean up, and DEEP was on scene for air quality testing. Base officials want to make clear that in now way were any radioactive chemicals or materials involved.