Fire crews needed nearly three hours Monday to clean up a chemical spill that closed eastbound lanes U.S. 278 near the Tradition Hilton Head community, according to Hardeeville Fire Chief Dan Morgan.
Morgan said 21, one-gallon bottles of muriatic acid likely fell from a passing vehicle onto the road at about 7:30 a.m. Several bottles broke open, releasing a white vapor. The vehicle did not stop, and fire crews were unable to identify it, he said.
Muriatic acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride gas often used locally to balance pH in swimming pools and clean masonry work, Morgan said.
The Bluffton/Hilton Head Hazardous Material Team cleared the road, while the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control responded to oversee the cleanup and disposal, he said.
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No injuries were reported, Morgan said.
Contents of the bottles that did not break will be recycled, he said.