Emergency personnel lifted a shelter-in-place order for a neighborhood in unincorporated Martinez Wednesday morning after crews successfully cleaned up a small hazardous materials spill.
The spill, involving several different chemicals associated with pool maintenance, was the result of a vehicle collision in the area of Pacheco Boulevard and Veale Avenue at 8:22 a.m., Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Capt. George Laing said.
The collision and subsequent spill closed Pacheco Boulevard in both directions for multiple hours. The shelter-in-place order, issued for about 20 homes and the nearby Shell oil refinery, was lifted after about 1.5 hours.
Two people were transported to a hospital with apparent minor injuries, caused when a small white pickup truck carrying pool supplies collided with a sedan. No injuries were caused as a result of the chemical spill, Laing said.
The spill included several gallons of liquid chemicals and several pounds of dry chemicals that combined to form "a highly toxic, visible green cloud" of chlorine gas, Laing said. "That's what caused the concern."
"If it mixed with (automobile) fuel, it could have burned by itself," he said. "The chemical reaction was complex and it was a concern to the neighborhood and the responders."
Emergency crews from Contra Costa County Fire, county hazardous materials, the California Highway Patrol and Martinez police responded to the incident.
"This was an outstanding example of agencies working to together to effectively eliminate a potentially very dangerous situation," Laing said.