Just before nine o clock this morning, people living or working near the Santa Teresa Industrial Park received a call from authorities. They were told to remain indoors and seal windows and vents.
By noon, 200 people had been evacuated to the local high school. People were having a hard time breathing, were feeling light-headed, nauseous and dizzy. And they were treated for exposure to an "unknown substance." About that time, hazmat teams began moving into the area to test air quality.
The county airport in Santa Teresa was also evacuated and is still closed to air traffic.
Jess Williams, public information officer for Dona Ana County, was tight-lipped about what might have happened. Officials aren’t saying what the substance was. And Williams could release no information about what facility—or even what type of facility—was involved.
According to Lt Robert McDonald, public information officer, New Mexico State Police officers are manning roadblocks and their hazmat officers are on the scene. The state police have also requested civil support from the New Mexico National Guard.