Los Banos CA ‘hazmat’ spill under investigation, deputy says
Questions remain about the circumstances surrounding a hazardous materials spill reported Thursday outside of Los Banos — an incident that left one man dead and injured at least one other person.
Thus far, investigators have been tight lipped about the case, and they haven’t said what chemicals might have been involved.
Daryl Allen, spokesperson for the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, on Friday said his department is still working to determine the cause of death for the man, whose identity has not been released.
Because the case deals with hazardous materials, Allen said special safety precautions must be followed before an autopsy can be performed, in order to protect the coroner and other personnel.
The Sheriff’s Office is conducting the investigation with Cal Fire and Merced County Environmental Health Services to determine what chemical or chemicals were involved in the spill. On Thursday, Allen said the incident was believed to be “some sort of agricultural (hazardous materials) spill.”
Merced County Sheriff’s Deputies and Cal Fire crews responded to incident, reported in the area of Monroe Avenue and China Camp Road at about 1 p.m. Thursday.
Authorities said Thursday the spill occurred in a rural part of the county and Los Banos residents were not in danger.
One other person was reported as injured, and their condition hasn’t been released. Plus, six sheriff deputies and two ambulance workers were treated for possible exposure. They were later checked out and released, Allen said.