Hazmat response for ‘radioactive breach' in Seattle's First Hill Neighborhood

SEATTLE — A Seattle Fire Department hazmat team was on the scene of a small radioactive material breach near Terrance Street and Terry Avenue in Seattle’s First Hill Neighborhood.

The breach occurred around 10:30 p.m. Thursday while the radioactive substance was being transported from the Research and Training building on the Harborview Medical Center campus.

The Seattle Fire Department first reported that the incident happened at Harborview Hall, but Harborview told KIRO 7 it happened at a building next to Harborview Hall.

Contract workers were in the process of removing Cesium Chloride Salt, which contains the radioactive isotope cesium-137 from the building.

Seattle Fire says the affected area was isolated and there is no danger to the public. The hazmat team had left the scene by about 6:30 a.m. Friday.

Thirteen people tested positive for radiation exposure. Of those exposed, eight were transported to the hospital to get further evaluations.  None of them showed any symptoms. The other five were decontaminated and cleared to leave the scene.

Cesium Chloride Salt has the consistency of talcum powder and is used to prevent potentially fatal complications during blood transfusions.