Hazardous Material Release Sickens 200 Northwest Of El Paso

SANTA TERESA, N.M. (October 30, 2012)—The release of an hazardous material sickened about 200 people near the Mexican border just northwest of El Paso, authorities in New Mexico said.

A two-mile area surrounding the industrial park and border crossing at Santa Teresa, N.M. was evacuated Tuesday, and the nearby airport was closed.

Officials say some people from businesses in the industrial park were taken to Santa Teresa High School after complaining of breathing problems, light-headedness, nausea and dizziness.

No serious injuries were reported and no one was hospitalized.

Some people also complained of a burning sensation on their skin.

Dona Ana County spokeswoman Kelly Jameson said officials started getting calls from people at around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Emergency officials from Texas and New Mexico responded, and people in nearby homes and businesses were told to stay indoors, seal all doors and windows and turn off air conditioning and heating systems.

The evacuation order remains in effect while air-quality testing is being done to determine what made the people sick.

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