Mercury spill closes 2 post offices, 2 exposed seeking additional medical treatment
CLARE CO., Mich. (WNEM) - A Mercury spill closed two U.S. Post Office locations and two people exposed are seeking additional medical treatment.
The spill occurred on Monday, May 15 at the Lake U.S. Post Office located at 8959 South Lake Station Ave. in Clare County. It was reported to Clare County 911 at 9 a.m. by U.S. Post Office employees.
The postal workers said they had been sorting mail in the rear of the facility and loading it into wheeled carts for distribution on the back loading area when they discovered what appeared to be Mercury spilling from one of the packages in the cart onto the ground below, according to Jerry Becker, the director of Clare County’s Emergency Management Homeland Security Division (EMHSD).
The postal workers said they had been sorting mail in the rear of the facility and loading it into wheeled carts for distribution on the back loading area when they discovered what appeared to be Mercury spilling from one of the packages in the cart onto the ground below, according to Jerry Becker, the director of Clare County’s Emergency Management Homeland Security Division.
The employees have a morning routine of walking to the local convenience store, located adjacent to the Post Office, before venturing out on their routes, Becker said. Since the extent of the contamination is still being determined, the convenience store was also isolated and closed.
The convenience store was reopened Monday after Isabella HazMat team cleared it, Becker said.
Five U.S. Postal workers and two convenience store employees were exposed, Becker said, but were not reporting any adverse effects at the time.
U.S. Postal Service officials stepped in with their teams on Monday, Becker said, adding they released local HazMat and fire department teams from the scene and took control.
The postal service officials have had its team in the investigating and cleaning up, Becker said, but it won’t release any more information to EMHSD.
Home mail delivery has resumed Wednesday, May 17 by using alternative delivery methods, according to Becker.
Becker said one postal worker developed rashes after the incident and is seeking additional medical treatment. He also said EMHSD discovered one of the exposed convenience store workers is 9-months pregnant, they passed the information on to a public health service so it can address the exposure further.
Another U.S. Post Office facility, Lake George, is closed because it was on the mail route, according to Becker.
USPS is in the process of backtracking and contacting the shipper to investigate all possible points of spillage, Becker said.
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