Santa Teresa Haz-Mat

From Dona Ana County Spokesman Jess Williams:

6:00 a.m. Dona Ana County Industrial Park is back to business as usual and the airport is open to air traffic. Hazmat testing at the scene yielded no results. The investigation continues though to try to determine what sickened people at the location yesterday.

2:08 p.m. New Mexico State Police have requested a civil-support team from the New Mexico National Guard to deploy to the Doña Ana County Industrial Park at Santa Teresa to assist with monitoring and testing. That team is en route. The Las Cruces Fire Department’s Hazmat team is standing by to provide assistance as requested.

1:53 p.m. The one-mile evacuation area around the Doña Ana County Industrial Park near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry has been lifted, and the temporary shelter at Santa Teresa High School has been deactivated. The industrial park itself remains evacuated. Hazmat crews remain in the industrial park taking samples to determine what might have sickened the individuals who sought and received treatment. The Doña Ana County Airport at Santa Teresa remains closed to air traffic.


NOTE: The Incident Commander has clarified at this time that the evacuation area was one mile in radius, rather than two as has been previously stated. Also, no private residences were in the evacuation zone.


11:47 a.m. UPDATE: The evacuation around the Doña Ana County Industrial Park is now complete. Approximately 100 evacuees are now sheltered at Santa Teresa High School. Haz Mat teams are now entering the area to conduct field testing. The Incident-Response Staging Center is located at the intersection of McNutt and Airport Road. Media are being staged at the northeast corner of Pete V. Domenici Highway and Airport Road.


10:51 a.m. UPDATE: The Doña Ana County Emergency Operations Center has been partially activated, with personnel on hand from American Red Cross, New Mexico Environment Department, Doña Ana County Ham Radio Association, the Doña Ana County Public Information Office and the Doña Ana County Office of Emergency Management. All updates from this point forward will come from the Doña Ana County Emergency Operations Center.


10:16 a.m. UPDATE: The American Red Cross has been activated and is en route to Santa Teresa High School to assist with sheltering of evacuees.


10:12 a.m. UPDATE: The Doña Ana County Airport at Santa Teresa is closed to all air traffic and has been evacuated.



            Santa Teresa High School is being used as a shelter for evacuees in southern Doña Ana County, where a hazardous-materials incident is developing. Air-quality testing is underway to determine what is making people sick in the area.

            The Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services Department Hazardous Materials Response Team has established a command post at Airport Road and the Pete V. Domenici Highway near the Doña Ana County Industrial Park and the Santa Teresa Port of Entry.

            A mandatory evacuation is underway for an area up to two miles from the industrial park. Approximately 200 people are in triage for symptoms of difficulty breathing, light-headedness, nausea and dizziness. No serious injuries have been reported, and no one has yet been transported to area hospitals.

            The Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority has activated a reverse 911 call to alert residents and businesses within two miles of the incident to remain indoors, seal all doors and windows and turn off air conditioning and heating systems that bring outside air into the home or business.

            The exact nature of the incident remains under investigation by authorities. Travelers and the media are advised to stay at least two miles from the area until authorities clear the area for traffic.

            The Doña Ana County Emergency Operations Center is in standby status. Helicopters and equipment from various agencies in both Doña Ana County and El Paso County are standing by to assist if necessary.

            Updates will be provided as more information is received.