Hydrogen Chemical Spill at Bradley County Wacker Plant
CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF) – The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office has released this statement assuring residents the leaks at the Wacker Plant is only steam.
“Incident Command has advised the environmental reading outside of the Wacker facility is 0.0 HCL. Additionally, it has been determined the visible vapor cloud that prompted an additional closure of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and residents to shelter in place a second time was only steam. It’s important for residents to know that advisories were only put into place as a matter of precaution when the change of events was discovered.
After speaking with representatives at Tennova Hospital, 8 people were treated for symptoms related to the Wacker incident. However, 7 out of the 8 patients were transported by private vehicle, and a Wacker firefighter was transported via ambulance.
As an abundance of caution Bradley County Schools have decided to close all schools on Friday, September 8, 2017.
A joint press-conference has been scheduled at 10:30 p.m. at the Bradley County EOC located at 1555 Guthrie Dr.”
CHARLESTON, Tenn. (WDEF) – Bradley County Schools are closed tomorrow, September 8th, as a safety precaution in response to a chemical release. City Schools will remain open.
Investigators are on the scene where a second leak has been reported at the Wacker Plant in Bradley County.
First-responders have determined a subsequent change of events unfolding at Wacker. Emergency personnel are continuing to address this situation.
These chain of events have led to Lauderdale Memorial Highway being shut down from Highway 11 to I-75.
Police say it is recommended for residents to stay indoors and to turn off HVAC units within a 1.5 mile radius south of the Wacker facility.
Earlier authorities reported that there were no injuries. Now, a statement has confirmed that 7 people were treated as result of the chemical release at Wacker this afternoon. A Wacker firefighter has also been transported to a local hospital due to heat exhaustion.
Wacker spokespeople say they are still determining the cause of the second leak.
CHARLESTON, Tenn. (WDEF) – A mechanical incident led to a hydrogen chemical spill at the Wacker Plant in northern Bradley County this afternoon.
Wacker has released a statement saying a mechanical incident resulted in a hydrogen chemical release around 3:40 p.m.
Workers were released from the Wacker Polysilicon plant after reports of a possible fire at the chemical plant, shortly followed by an explosion.
Thick smoke remained in the air for awhile resulting in Bradley County Emergency Management to urge people in the area to turn off AC due to possible hazardous fumes.
Walker Valley High, and other local schools, were put on lock down to be a sheltering place. The lock down has been removed, and everyone has been released to resume normal activity.
The interstate was shut down, as well, along I-75 at the Paul Huff Parkway exit, and traffic was being diverted. Authorities have reopened the area.
The incident was first reported as a category 4 (explosion), but it has been confirmed as a hydrochloric acid spill by Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson.
Sheriff Watson says, “There are no reported injuries. The smoke seen from the area is actually steam”.
Hazmat teams are on standby in case anyone needs help.
There had been reports of some people having breathing problems. But again, there’s no confirmation that anyone is having problems right now.
Wacker is continuing to monitor the air quality in the area. At this time, Wacker’s measurements of the air quality are not harmful.
The plant is temporarily closed.
*Photos by Justin Stringer, Kristyna Maree Powers