From Mayor Mark Evans:
Tonight at approximately 6:20pm the Coxsackie FD was called to John St. for a Haz Mat condition. I was on the first arriving truck and we found residents exiting their houses and complaining of burning eyes and noses.
John St. was evacuated and the FD removed to a safe location and set up a perimeter. The county Haz Mat team was called and approximately 25 members of the FD canvassed the neighborhood to check on residents.
We then became aware that the Coxsackie Correctiona...l Facility Emergency Response team was drilling by the QWL building near County Rt. 9 and that they had set off chemical agents. The gas traveled north with wind and into the residential area. The area was kept clear and the gas allowed to dissipate.
There are no lasting effects from this exposure, the residents were allowed to return, some may opt not to stay in their houses or until the sun tomorrow dries out and fully dissipates the residue.
I spoke this evening with both the Superintendent of Coxsackie Correctional Facility and the Acting Commissioner of Corrections. Both acknowledged that this was fully Corrections responsibility and mistake and offered their sincere apologies to our residents as well as an assurance that action will be taken to insure that this never happens again.
We used our Code Red system to notify residents in the area of the situation and also dispatched the Police Dept, to check on Bethany Village residents.
Two of our firefighters on the first engine were later sent to Emurgentcare for evaluation, they are ok.
I would also like to thank my fellow firefighters, officers and Asst. Chief Bennett for the excellent response and handling of the situation. Also thank-you to Coxsackie Ambulance, Greene County Haz Mat team, Greene County Fire Coordinators and the mutual aid companies that stood by for us.
Mark Evans Mayor