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COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) -- A chemical leak at USC's Swearingen Engineering Center prompted the building be evacuated and bordering streets closed to traffic.

A Carolina Alert was sent out at approximately 2:37pm Friday after the chemical leak was reported to USC's Law Enforcement and Safety. The Swearingen Engineering Center occupies the 300 block of Assembly Street, bordered by Main and Catawba streets.

The leak came from a 5 pound canister of hydrogen chloride compressed gas, according to Columbia Fire Assistant Chief Helms.

Helms says the the protection system inside the lab minimized any potential hazard. After about two hours, fire crews determined that the air quality inside the building was back to the proper levels.

Catawba Street and Main Street adjacent to the building were closed to traffic while emergency crews resolved the issue.

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