Crews try to contain unstable substance in Calif. plant fire

November 19, 2014
In this aerial still frame from video provided by Fox 11 LA, a waste treatment facity burns after an unstable chemical mixture exploded in Santa Paula, Calif., early Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, sending about 30 people to the hospital for decontamination and prompting an order to evacuate for a mile around the plant, authorities said. No burn injuries were reported, but two drivers on a vacuum truck, three firefighters, hospital medical staff and a few nearby residents were washed down or treated for complaints such as breathing problems, red eyes and skin rashes, said Lori Ross, a spokeswoman for the Ventura County Fire Department. The vacuum truck was delivering a load around 3:45 a.m. when it exploded at the Santa Clara Waste Water Co., authorities said. (AP Photo/Fox 11 LA)

In this aerial still frame from video provided by Fox 11 LA, a waste treatment facity burns after an unstable chemical mixture exploded in Santa Paula, Calif., early Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, sending about 30 people to the hospital for decontamination and prompting an order to evacuate for a mile around the plant, authorities said. No burn injuries were reported, but two drivers on a vacuum truck, three firefighters, hospital medical staff and a few nearby residents were washed down or treated for complaints such as breathing problems, red eyes and skin rashes, said Lori Ross, a spokeswoman for the Ventura County Fire Department. The vacuum truck was delivering a load around 3:45 a.m. when it exploded at the Santa Clara Waste Water Co., authorities said. (AP Photo/Fox 11 LA)

SANTA PAULA, Calif. (AP) — Hazardous materials crews are trying to determine how to deal with an unstable substance remaining after an explosion and fire at a Southern California waste treatment facility.

Ventura County fire Capt. Mike Lindbery says only a handful of smoldering hot spots remain Wednesday at the site in an agricultural area near Santa Paula, northwest of Los Angeles.

A vacuum truck exploded early Tuesday at Santa Clara Waste Water Co., spreading a chemical mixture that contained sulfuric acid and a highly combustible organic peroxide.

Lindbery says the material is highly toxic and combustible.

No burn injuries were reported, but 37 people were washed down or treated for complaints such as breathing problems, red eyes and skin rashes.

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