After someone supposedly stole brass fittings from a chemical company, toluenediamine, a flammable substance that causes irritation by inhalation, was released. Oops.

Contra Costa County authorities have asked residents of over 1,500 homes in Richmond "to stay indoors while authorities investigate a chemical leak."

According to the Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Team:

The chemical spill occurred at an unconfirmed time this past weekend. The spill has been fully contained by booms and absorbent pads. The spilled chemical is not believed to have reached the San Francisco Bay. A safety zone was established and enforced by the Coast Guard this afternoon and has since been lifted.

State, local, and federal agencies are working to ensure the safety of residents in the immediate area and to conduct a proper cleanup. Clean Harbors has been contracted to clean the immediate area.

Office of Emerge[n]cy Services reported the spill today at 11:09 a.m. to the Coast Guard. The 6000 gallon holding tank, which contained the chemical, was not at full capacity when the spill occu[r]red.

If you have any questions or concerns, call the Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Team, 510-719-8454, or Coast Guard Public Affairs, 415-399-7326.

Thanks, Jim, for the alerts.