Pooler apartment buildings, businesses evacuated after Hazmat situation

(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)

POOLER, GA (WTOC) - Three apartment buildings and nearby businesses were evacuated in Pooler Wednesday morning after a Hazmat situation.

First responders were dispatched at about 10:15 a.m. to Courtney Station Apartments for a radiological incident in a dumpster. According to an official on the scene, the trash collection company was notified of some type of radiation present in a dumpster when a meter was activated at the landfill.

WTOC is told it was a small amount of medical waste that gave off minor radiological readings.

The trash collection company is disposing of the material as "special waste."

"With the readings and what we found, it was not harmful to anybody else. It was actually just confined to that general vicinity, and they were able to take into the landfill, and then they are going to be able to dispose of it," said Wade Simmons, Pooler Fire Chief. "Savannah Fire and Hazmat responded because they are the regional hazard materials team, and they work with us on that. After action for the plane crash, we had some other chief officers, command officer from both Savannah and Garden City that responded to assist us if we needed help."

People have been allowed back into their apartments and businesses.

"What our initial evacuation was, was 100 feet. Based on the fact that we had readings, we increased that to 800 feet, and the reason we do that is because we have residents near, we have a daycare that sits behind it, so what we started doing was evacuating the children. Keep them inside the building, shelter in place," said Chief Simmons.

Officials will take another reading before allowing anyone to use the dumpster at the complex.

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