Diesel fuel leak in basement of Adams County Jail overwhelms E-911 dispatchers; system being relocated

Published 12:50 pm Saturday, May 11, 2024

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NATCHEZ — The Adams County Sheriff’s Office and Adams County Emergency Management are in the process of relocating E-911 dispatchers after gallons of diesel fuel leaked from a generator in the basement of the Adams County Jail and fumes became overwhelming.

Paramedics from AMR have been requested to check out dispatchers.

“Dispatchers began smelling fumes sometime in the night and they got so strong this morning where they were able to track it down to diesel fuel in the boiler room,” said Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten.

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He said the generator underwent routine maintenance on Friday by a company contracted by the county for those services.

“Apparently during that maintenance a part was knocked loose and not replaced, which led to the diesel fuel spill,” Patten said.

Once the fuel leak was discovered, dispatchers and jail workers contacted their supervisors this morning, who contacted the county maintenance department. Maintenance Supervisor Johnny Williams responded and was able to stop the leak, the sheriff said.

The sheriff’s office requested assistance from the Natchez Fire Department, who responded and stood by until absorbents were applied to the floor and the hazard of fire was lessened. Firefighters also helped to ventilate the areas downstairs to try to mitigate the fumes.

“The dispatch center is being evacuated and will be set up in an undisclosed location,” Patten said. “The fumes are extremely strong in the boiler room, in the kitchen, in the dispatch center and in emergency management and in the jail’s control room.”

He said the jail’s second and third levels have not been affected.

Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford has called in an Environmental HazMat crew to assist with clean-up.

This story will be updated when more information is available.