Hanford Nuclear Site Tunnel Collapses, Forces Workers to ‘Take Cover’

May 9, 2017 8:55 pm Last Updated: May 9, 2017 8:55 pm

About 200 workers at the Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington were told to take cover on Tuesday after a tunnel wall collapsed, NBC reported.

The 20-foot segment that collapsed was surrounding “contaminated materials,” the U.S. Department of Energy said, according to the report.

“Everyone has been accounted for and there is no initial indication of any worker exposure or an airborne radiological release,” the statement said, Fox News reported. “Personnel are being provided a safe access route to depart the 200 West Area.”

The alert was sounded at 8:26 a.m. local time.

“There are no reports of injuries, no reports of radiological release,” said Destry Henderson, the deputy news manager at the Hanford Joint Information Center. “I would underscore this is confined to a small area of the Hanford site.”

There’s no danger to the community surrounding the nuclear site.

“I can confirm we are investigating a small area of soil that had sunken,” Henderson said. “This soil covers a tunnel used to access a former chemical processing facility.”

It’s unclear what caused the collapse, the Department of Energy reported.

There were no workers in the tunnel when it collapsed, The Associated Press reported.

The Hanford site has was called the “Most Toxic Place in America” last year in an NBC News report.