German spy agency's new building in Berlin evacuated due to acid fumes – reports

© Peter Oliver / RT
The new headquarters of Germany’s spy agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), in central Berlin has been evacuated because a dangerously high concentration of sulfuric acid vapors has been detected in its basement, local media reported.

A fire brigade dispatched to the scene has also cordoned off the adjacent roads, Tagesspiegel reported on Monday.

A spokesman for the fire department said no one is currently in danger, but firefighters had to wear protective suits to enter the premises and a decontamination crew has been called in.

According to the Berlin Morning Post, the acid fumes came from the basement and may have been caused by a leaking emergency power generator.

At least 10 fire-engines and ambulances were sent to the site.

The BND’s new building is still under construction and not yet in operation, so there were few people inside.

Sulfuric acid is a highly corrosive strong mineral acid that has a wide range of applications, including as an electrolyte in lead-acid batteries and in various cleaning agents.

It can, however, cause very serious damage upon contact at a high concentration, including chemical burns and secondary thermal burns through dehydration. It can lead to permanent blindness if splashed onto the eyes and can be deadly if swallowed.