Mystery drums removed from property

UPDATE: The drums found filled with unknown chemicals have been removed from the property where they were found on Wednesday.

According to authorities, the drums are being sent to Texas for testing.

The contents inside should be identified within the next three weeks.

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - You can never be too careful when dealing with unknown chemicals.  Emergency officials are trying to determine what is inside five abandoned drums found in Lake Charles.  The Calcasieu Office of Emergency Preparedness, Department of Environmental Quality and Lake Charles Fire Department  Haz-mat gear all suited up along Reid street in Lake Charles to try and determine what they were dealing with.

"We are going in and taking samples of the actual chemicals in the drums," said Jason Hinton with the Lake Charles Fire Department.

Next, an independent contractor works to test the samples to see if there is any cause for alarm. That process is still ongoing, and the price for safety keeps climbing.

"It costs a lot of money to mobilize all of this equipment and personnel to come and address it. And, we're going to be working hard to find out who put it there," said Bobby Kingham with DEQ.

While the contents of the drums remains a mystery, authorities said nearby residents have nothing to worry about.

"Everything is safe. The scene is safe, everything is contained in the drums. We're not picking up any readings on the outside," said Hinton.

If anyone has information on who is responsible for leaving the chemicals in the vacant lot, you can call the DEQ office at 491-2721.

Officials tell 7News that the owner of the vacant lot apparently had no idea why the drums were there.  A criminal investigation is now underway to find the person who abandoned them.  If convicted, that person could face 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

There has been no evacuation.

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