Police: Mercury found inside central Indiana house

ELWOOD, Ind. - Authorities are trying to determine how a large amount of highly toxic mercury ended up at a home in a small central Indiana city.

Elwood Police Chief Sam Hanna says new homeowners were moving boxes into the home Monday evening when they noticed spills on the carpet. Officials identified the material as mercury.

Hanna tells The Herald Bulletin that about 8 ounces of mercury was found on the floor and up to 20 ounces was found in a bucket at the home.

Police said they hoped the hazardous chemical wasn't being used to make explosives, especially since a bomb was found in town recently, Hanna said.

A crew from the Environmental Protection Agency was equipped with hazardous material gear to remove the mercury from the area.

"It is extremely important that we get rid of this mercury. It is a very potent neuro-toxin and is most dangerous to small children," said EPA coordinator Shelly Lam.

Hanna says the house, about 30 miles north of Indianapolis, would be sealed off for two or three days while crews clean up the substance.

The EPA will pay for the initial cleanup efforts, but officials said they will track down the previous owner of the property to hold them accountable.

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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