Explosion, large fire reported at Eglin Air Force base

Eglin Air Force Base was forced to evacuate personnel from part of the base after an explosion occurred around 10 AM EST.

The explosion occurred at the McKinley Climatic Lab on the base located in Florida’s panhandle.

A one-thousand foot evacuation zone was established around the base. The source of the smoke has been identified as methyl chloride, an extremely flammable gas once widely used as a refrigerant.  The Air Force uses the toxic chemical to strip paint from aircraft.

The smoke has since dispersed. An order for people near the base to shelter in place and turn off their air conditioners has been lifted.

Officials at the base tweeted that the fire caused “no significant injuries.”


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