Lightfoot neighborhood locked down after hazmat spill, firefighter injured

srobertsjr@vagazette.com

After James City County first responders locked down and evacuated a Lightfoot neighborhood for a hazardous material spill, the United States Postal Service has confirmed mercury was found spilled inside a mail delivery truck.

The spill was contained inside of the delivery truck in the Lightfoot Crossing neighborhood of Lightfoot, according to a James City County news release and a statement from USPS spokeswoman Freda Sauter.

First responders were called to the neighborhood at 2:35 p.m. on Aug. 30, and a mail worker was evaluated by medics, the release said.

One York County Fire and Life Safety firefighter suffered a heat-related injury while working the hazardous material spill, according to the release.

The firefighter was taken to Sentara Williamsburg hospital in stable condition for an evaluation, the release said.

When it comes to mail, at least some of it won’t be delivered until the USPS is certain it isn’t contaminated with mercury, a toxic heavy metal that can cause neurological and kidney damage in humans after prolonged exposure.

“In an abundance of caution,” Sauter wrote in a statement, “the mail inside the vehicle will not be delivered until professional environmental contractors can evaluate, clean and certify the safety of the mail.”

As of 7 p.m., the delivery truck had been sealed and a wrecker service was called to collect the truck from the neighborhood.

Sauter said more information about the spill would be forthcoming.

Firefighters, medics and police officers evacuated the Liberty Crossing townhome complex in the 4600 block of Noland Boulevard in James City County, according to a James City County news release.

The James City County Fire Department, police department, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Virginia Department of Emergency Management and York County Fire and Life Safety were at the scene.

First responders were still on the scene at 4:50 p.m. and the Liberty Crossing neighborhood remained locked down until 6:15 p.m. when police officers removed caution tape barriers.

This story was last updated at 9:58 p.m. on Aug. 30. As more information becomes available we will update this story.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329 and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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