GREAT FALLS, MT – Four 55-gallon chemical barrels found near Dunmore on the Crow Reservation on Friday led to an evacuation of as many as 50 people living in the area.
The four barrels were found sitting alongside River Road, which runs parallel to the Little Horn River.
The Crow Agency reports that the barrels contained 210 pounds of Butyltrichlorosilane and 100 pounds of Isocyanate.
According to the National Institutes of Health, inhalation of Butyltrichlorosilane vapor irritates upper respiratory system. Contact of liquid with eyes or skin causes severe burns. Ingestion causes burns of mouth and stomach.
The U.S. Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) says Isocyanates are powerful irritants to the mucous membranes of the eyes and gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Direct skin contact can also cause marked inflammation.
One of the four barrels had eight gallons of the chemical inside; the other three barrels were empty.
The press release said that there was no spill or leakage from the barrels.
Denver EPA suggested an evacuation for safety reasons. The American Red Cross set up an evacuation center in Crow Agency where they have taken in about 50 people.
On Saturday afternoon, the evacuation order was lifted.
There have been no reported injuries. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is investigating how the barrels ended up there.