UPDATED: Building reopens after chemical leak prompts evacuation at INL building

Idaho Falls

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Fire engines outside Energy Innovation building at INL in Idaho Falls | Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com

UPDATE

IDAHO FALLS — The Energy Innovation Building at Idaho National Laboratory has reopened after a refrigerant leak prompted the evacuation of the building.

Sarah Neumann, a spokeswoman for INL said Building C has reopened as of 4 p.m. to the approximately 100 employees who work there.

She confirmed the 407C liquid gas is a chemical used in the air-conditioning system at the building.

ORIGINAL STORY

IDAHO FALLS — A Hazmat leak prompted an evacuation at the Energy Innovation Building at Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls Monday afternoon.

Jessica Clements, a spokeswoman for Idaho Falls Police Department, tells EastIdahoNews.com a chemical known as 407C started leaking from the ventilation system around 1:57 p.m. The chemical is a liquid gas used in air-conditioning systems to keep the air cool. Overexposure can cause irritation and frostbite.

There was not any immediate danger to the public. An alarm alerted Hazmat teams of the leak and the building was evacuated as a safety precaution. Clements says work was being done on the air-conditioning system when the leak occurred.

Everyone was evacuated safely and no injuries or illness have been reported.

Crews are now ventilating the building to ensure the levels of the chemical in the air are safe before allowing people back inside.

Three fire engines and one ambulance responded to the incident.

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