Explosion on Eglin Air Force Base

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (WDTN) — A shelter-in-place order at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida has been lifted after an explosion Wednesday morning caused the order to go out and evacuations of the area.

The explosion happened around 10:00 a.m. Wednesday at the McKinley Climatic Lab on Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Base officials said in a tweet that a 1,000-foot cordon has been established, and the surrounding area has been evacuated.

Officials at the Air Force Base said the source of the smoke has been identified as methyl chloride. People on the base have been told to avoid contact with the smoke if possible.

Eglin AFB officials say there were no significant injuries from the incident and the cause is still under investigation.

According to the EPA’s website on methyl chloride:

In humans, brief exposures to high levels of methyl chloride can have serious effects on the nervous
system, including convulsions, and coma.  Other effects include dizziness, blurred or double vision,
fatigue, personality changes, confusion, tremors, uncoordinated movements, slurred speech, nausea, and
vomiting.  These symptoms develop within a few hours after exposure and may persist for several

Photo Courtesy: Don Harris

According to the lab’s website: 

The McKinley Climatic Laboratory, an AEDC facility located here, has chambers where any climatic environment in the world can be simulated.

The capabilities available at the Climatic Laboratory help engineers ensure maximum reliability and operational capability of complex systems as global operational theaters continue to impose harsh environments.


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