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Hazmat responds to leaking package in Menlo Park

A hazardous materials spill led to a shelter-in-place order in Menlo Park Tuesday, according to Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman.

At 10:24 a.m., emergency officials responded to a medical call from a 41-year-old UPS truck driver on Bohannon Drive who was having trouble breathing.

He said there was a package inside the truck that was leaking, which prompted a call to the hazmat team. The spill was identified as benzonitrile, a dangerous chemical that can irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract through inhalation, Schapelhouman said.

The driver was found leaning against the truck in respiratory distress. He had picked up the truck around 9:15 a.m. and had been driving for an hour when he began to have difficulty breathing. He was taken to a hospital and did not suffer any life-threatening injuries.

The hazmat team was on scene until early afternoon along with a private company brought in by UPS to clean up the spill.

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