A mercury spill Monday at McKinley High School will keep the school’s front office closed for a few days during the ongoing cleanup.
About 2 ounces of mercury spilled when a barometer broke — enough to contaminate a large room, said Peter Ricca, manager of the emergency response group at the state Department of Environmental Quality.
The cleanup could be finished in a matter of days, said Bryan Riche, chemical emergency response supervisor with DEQ.
Chris Trahan, East Baton Rouge Parish School System spokesman, said the spill was in the front office area and is completely separate from the classrooms.
With school set to start Wednesday, the cleanup area will be blocked to prevent people from getting too close, he said.
Trahan said Tuesday afternoon the school system planned to send automated messages to parents and guardians, alerting them about the cleanup efforts.
“It’s not going to affect school opening at all,” Trahan said.
On July 31, another mercury spill — this one about 1 ounce — occurred at the Jones Creek Adventist Academy, according to DEQ staff.