WKU Public Radio News Staff
Tue August 16, 2005
Chemical Scares In Area Tuesday Morning
Calvert City, KY – It isn't often the National weather Service issues something called a "Shelter In Place" warning, but there was one Tuesdya morning. It was for people in the area of Westlake Monomers at Calvert City.
Plant manager Gary Shemwell says all necessary precautions were taken when a pipe started leaking about 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. The substance escaping was a combination of vinyl chloride monomer, hydrochloric acid and a compound called "ethylene dichloride".
Shemwell says the plant was shut down while the leak was contained by shutting off sections of piping and equipment. He says the leak was contained by 5:15 a.m.
Shemwell says air monitoring did not detect any of the chemicals off plant property, but the Calvert City emergency warning system was triggered as a precaution and the "biological telephone ring-down system" was also called into action. That's where people within a radius of three miles are notified by phone that a leak has occurred.
Also, police say a fatal traffic crash on Interstate 71 in Louisville Tuesday morning produced an explosion of a chemical.
A subsequent fire destroyed the chemical, but left I-71 near the Gene Snyder Freeway closed for hours. North-bound lanes were still closed at mid-day.
Authorities say a car crossed the median into the path of the truck.
The identity of the dead passenger in the truck and two other people injured have not been released.