Acid spill in Temple City High School school science class prompts evacuation

TEMPLE CITY — Officials briefly evacuated a building at Temple City High School Wednesday after an instructor dropped a beaker containing a dangerous acid.

The incident was first reported about 9 a.m. at a science classroom in a two story building on the campus, 9501 Lemon Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire officials said.

A custodian at the school was taken to a hospital to be examined as a precaution after inhaling fumes from the spill, fire Capt. Tim Bushrow said.

The chemical spilled was hydrochloric acid, he said. “The estimated quantity was probably a cup to two cups.”

The acid is capable of burning the skin and causing respiratory problems if inhaled, the captain added.

The acid was spilled near the door to the classroom and outside walkway, Bushrow said.

Adding to the drama, he said, “In this case, it was misty or raining outside. Once (hydrochloric acid) mixes with water it produces visible vapor.”

Hazardous materials experts responded to the scene, neutralized the acid with baking soda and cleaned up the mess, Bushrow said.

About 150 students who were evacuated from the building were allowed back in about an hour later, officials said.

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