Dumping of hazardous materials causes nearby medical center to close air intakes

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Detroit Fire Department's Hazardous Materials Unit blocked streets in the Midtown area near The DMC as they investigated an odor that was noticeable to some workers with the medical center, patients and Wayne State students.

In the area of Brush and E. Canfield near the Karmanos Cancer Institute, Hazmat team members detected a chemical in the sewer line.

It appears that someone, at some unknown location, dumped a large amount of a chemical, possibly paint thinner or lacquer, into the sewer.

A passerby noticed the odor that "Smelled like nail polish with a noxious hint to it," around 9 or 9:30 a.m.

Crews from Detroit's Water & Sewerage Department spent hours flushing out the sewer line, pushing the substance to the waste water treatment plant.

It's unclear if the dumping was intentional or an accident.

A spokesperson for The DMC says that for several hours Tuesday, they shut off all air intakes in the buildings on campus and tested the air and water as a precaution.

There were no evacuations or reports of any injuries.


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