A possible underground meth lab was recently discovered beneath a Walmart parking lot in Amherst, New York. During a “routine patrol” of the area, Amherst police found evidence of what appeared to be a meth lab in a culvert that runs beneath a Walmart parking lot.
The New York State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team arrived on the scene Monday afternoon dressed in hazmat suits. A spray can, chemicals and liquid thought to be methamphetamine were found, yet officials stated there was no threat of flammability or air contamination, according to NBC 4.
Captain Scott Chamberlin relayed to NBC 4 that the police had not received a tip. Rather, they were conducting a routine patrol of the area.
“That’s what we do every day,” Chamberlin told the news outlet. “We check in various areas that people who might be up to no good, might be using for no good.”
According to the Buffalo News, it was difficult to tell how long the lab had been in use. Chamberlin also spoke to the news outlet: “It happens all over the country, all over the state,” Chamberlin said of meth labs. “Is it out of the ordinary for Amherst? Has it happened here before? Yes.”
According to police, the culvert was said to be tall enough to stand inside of and was not secured. Officials are working to secure the area so that it can no longer be accessed by the public.
The New York Daily News reported no arrests had been made and officers were reviewing the Walmart surveillance tapes.
Methamphetamines can be easily manufactured from every day products like cold medicine and cleaning chemicals. Meth production can cause “fires, explosions, injuries and environmental contamination,” according to the CDC.
In a report that examined data from 1,325 meth-related chemical incidents reported by five states (Louisiana, Utah, Oregon, Wisconsin and New York) between 2001 and 2012, the CDC reported that “Seven percent of meth-related chemical incidents resulted in injuries to 162 persons, mostly members of the general public (97 persons, including 26 children) and law enforcement officials (42).”