By Jessica Mathews /

A hazmat situation occurred outside of the Green Oak Township Fire Department on Friday afternoon and subsequent clean-up efforts forced a road closure.

Fire Chief Kevin Gentry says a person walked into the front door of Fire Station 81 and stated that a large drum had just fallen out of a semi-truck at Whitmore Lake Road and Silver Lake Road. He told WHMI Department personnel investigated and discovered a drum of hydrobromic acid that had cracked when it hit the ground and was releasing the acid into the air and onto the ground.

Gentry said hydrobromic acid is an extremely corrosive substance that is dangerous if it comes into skin contact but is also an inhalation hazard – meaning if inhaled it can damage the lungs - so it is a fairly hazardous substance that needed to be dealt with.

The Fire Department and the Livingston County Hazmat Team secured the drum for removal by an environmental clean-up company. Gentry said investigation revealed that the drum had not been secured properly by the semi that was transporting it, which was located further down Whitmore Lake Road. He said apparently the barrel had not been secured in the back of the truck and bounced against the back door, which somehow came open and caused the drum to fall to the ground. Gentry said that matter is under investigation by the Green Oak Township Police Department.

Whitmore Lake Road had to be shut down for approximately two hours while the Livingston County Hazmat Team mitigated the situation. No evacuations were necessary. The name of the company was not released.