Three workers were checked out at a hospital and an apartment complex evacuated after a cloud of gas escaped a discarded chemical drum.
Cyndy Chanaca, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, says the incident began when three handymen hired to clean up debris at the apartment complex were trying to retrieve a plastic container on Thursday.
Robert Kronenberger, Middletown’s deputy fire chief, says the gas was emitted from a 30-gallon drum the workers found in a brook. A contractor hired by the state is trying to retrieve it.
Kronenberger says the three workers were decontaminated by the fire department and were briefly hospitalized.
There is no industrial plant nearby, leaving officials wondering how the drum ended up in the brook.
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