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aberdeens first decontamination squad

BOMBS DROPPED TO TEST GAS CLEARANCE ABERDEEN SQUAD'S "BAPTISM"
REALISTIC ADVANCE ON CRATER CONTAMINATED SOIL PURIFIED
Aberdeen's first decontamination squad, set up in connection with the city's air raid precautions, was called out yesterday afternoon. Mustard gas bombs were dropped by raiding aeroplanes at Abbotswell, and the squad of ten, under the direction of Mr W. Alexander, cleansing superintendent, were quickly in action. It was a realistic effort by men who are being trained to take charge of other squads which will be formed in the city.

MASKS AND OILSKINS Sharp explosions indicated the bursting of the gas bombs. Masks were immediately donned, and the squad, clad in oilskins, moved cautiously towards the crater caused by the explosion. Number One led the way, feeling in front of him with a pole, at the end of which was chemically-treated paper. As soon as it came within the affected area, the paper turned red, indicating the presence of mustard gas. Gradually the affected part, about 120 feet in circumference, was roped off, and "Gas, Dangerous" notices were put up. Oilskin hoods were donned, and the men got to work on decontamination, Number One standing by. The foul soil was treated with chloride of lime, turned over, and buried.

"ALL CLEAR SIGNAL" When the fumes seemed to have disappeared, Number One sniffed for gas. The air was pure, and an "All clear" call was put through to the Air Raid Precautions headquarters. The normal decontamination squad will consist of six men. Mr Alexander had nine with him yesterday. They have been attending lectures during the past few weeks, and will later take charge of squads.

Source: Aberdeen Press and Journal Friday December 3rd, 1937


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