Chemical that Caused Courthouse Evacuation Deemed Safe


A Hazmat crew from Tulsa and Sequoyah County authorities determined the chemicals that leaked near the Sequoyah County Courthouse in Sallisaw and forced an evacuation are not harmful.

Authorities confirmed Thursday evening that the chemical, called Polytec, was not harmful.

Sallisaw Fire Chief Anthony Armstrong says an estimated 250 people, including nearly 150 inmates, were evacuated from the courthouse and a one-block radius surrounding the courthouse as a precaution Thursday (Aug. 1).

“They did some testing on the chemical,” Armstrong said. “It’s not a hazardous chemical. Our main concern was they do have hazardous chemicals on the truck and we were afraid it might’ve been one of them. But they determined it wasn’t, so we’re scaling back down.”

The evacuation was lifted around 2:30 p.m. The courthouse and jail has since reopened.

A police dispatcher said the fire department was dispatched to an area near Creek and Oak Streets around 11 a.m. after an unknown chemical leaked from a mattress delivery truck.

The truck was carrying mattresses and several containers of chemicals, according to authorities on the scene.

“We made entry into the trailer early on,” Armstrong said. “We removed some mattresses out of it. We couldn’t determine which barrel was leaking. There were several barrels in there.”

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