Hazmat crews are investigating a drum that is reportedly filled, or partially filled, with hydrogen fluoride that apparently washed ashore on Ocean Reef Park in Singer Island. According to Riviera Beach Fire Rescue spokesperson Dwyane Watson, investigators have cleared out the beach as they look into what appears to be a grenade with a pin still inside it that was found beside the barrel.
Riviera Beach Fire Rescue says someone spotted what looks to be a 55-gallon sized drum on the shore as they walked along the beach at around 11:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. Authorities blocked off the area and called in the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office’s hazardous material unit, says Watson.
Watson also says that the drum was partially open when found, but that investigators are not sure if any of the material leaked out into the water. or beach. At first, investigators had found the material to be non-hazardous, but then found what they're calling a "military-type flare," with the pin still in it. The Riviera Beach Fire Rescue reported the flare as a "phosphorus grenade."
The device was found next to the barrel, but not attached to it. As a result, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office bomb squad has also been called in to examine the device.
In all, the Riviera Beach Fire Rescue, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and the Department of Defense are all part of the investigation.
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