Hazardous substance causes 395 closure in Douglas County

A mysterious substance being blamed for the deaths of a score of birds at the Douglas County Transfer Station resulted in the closure of both Highway 395 and the station on Tuesday morning.

East Fork Chief Tod Carlini said the first report came in around 10 a.m.

Douglas Disposal workers were loading a truck destined for the Carson City landfill and just as it was pulling out, they noticed all the birds in the station had died.

They were able to get in contact with the driver before he left the county and he pulled over on Highway 395 between Mica Drive and Jacks Valley Road.

Nevada Highway Patrol troopers and state transportation workers closed the highway while East Fork firefighters checked the truck and driver for potential toxins.

Carlini said that when they didn’t find anything, they arranged for the truck to return to the transfer station, where they were met by members of the National Guard’s Civil Support Team, which responds to hazardous materials calls.

The team and East Fork personnel made entry into the hazardous area at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Carlini said that the team would eventually open the truck and examine the contents in an effort to determine what the toxic substance was.

Highway 395 was reopened by noon.

No human casualties or injuries have been reported, Carlini said.

The Transfer Station won’t reopen until emergency personnel have determined the threat has passed.


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