EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSClearon Releases Statement About South Charleston Chemical Incident
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Larry Clark
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Also Contributing: Rick Lord
Reported: Oct. 2, 2013 9:08 AM EDT
Updated: Oct. 2, 2013 7:54 PM EDT
South Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Thousands of people were asked to shelter in place Wednesday morning as emergency crews worked to determine the effects of the dry chlorine bleach chemical that was released from the Clearon Corp. plant in South Charleston.
"I turned the TV on, of course to WCHS," says Will Price, of Price Portraits in South Charleston.
Price quickly learned he was directly affected by what was happening at the Clearon Corp. plant just down the street from his business, and he needed to shelter in place.
"I've lived in the Valley 20 years and I think this is probably the 4th one that I can remember," he said.
Across the street, at the St. John Heart and Hand Daycare, close to 60 kids needed to be properly taken care of.
"You talk about it, but until you're actually doing it, you're not sure," said director Nancy Davis.
The facility already has special emergency procedures in place for things like chemical leaks, but they say it was the first time they had to put them into action.
"Everything has to be sealed up. So we put the plastic up, and move all of the kids over. Make sure that we have food, water, a radio and just patiently sit and wait," she said.
Other local businesses, like Anytime Fitness, operated as normal, but with heightened sense of awareness about what was going on just outside their door.
"It was a little bit scary, but the gym is a great place to be sheltered in place I guess," says Keara Stewart.
A South Charleston chemical company said a small amount of chlorine was released during an incident at the plant and the situation was brought under control.
The incident occurred about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Clearon Plant in South Charleston.
"At 8:25 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, an alarm alerted management to the release of a small amount of chlorine," the statement said. "We activated our plant emergency response team and notified local fire departments which arrived on site to assist with emergency management. The local fire department instituted a shelter in place order for the immediate surrounding area. The order was lifted 10:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time."
Clearon said the situation was brought under control with the help of its emergency team and the local fire department. It said all employees were accounted for and are safe. The company said it is investigating the cause of the incident and will take measures to prevent a recurrence. OSHA also is investigating the incident.
"Clearon has a strong safety record and is committed to its role as a good community citizen. We worked closely with our first responders to implement our emergency response plan which performed as designed," the company said.
Clearon, which has operated in South Charleston for more than 30 years, manufactures swimming pool chemicals and employs 118 people.
The shelter in place for areas of Kanawha County Wednesday has ended after a chemical incident at the Clearon Plant in South Charleston.
The shelter in place was lifted about 10:15 a.m., Kanawha County officials said.
The chemical incident was reported about 8:30 a.m. at the plant.
Dispatchers said one person was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.
A shelter in place has been issued for numerous areas of Kanawha County after a report of a chemical incident in South Charleston.
Dispatchers said the areas that are included in the shelter in place are downtown South Charleston West of B Street, North Charleston, Spring Hill and Dunbar.
There also is a light haze in the area, South Charleston Assistant Fire Chief Virgil White said.
The Emergency Operations Center was activated about 10 a.m. because of the spill at the Clearon Plant, Kanawha County Manager Jennifer Sayre said. The shelter in place will continue until further notice.
The chemical incident was reported about 8:30 a.m. at the Clearon Plant along MacCorkle Avenue in South Charleston.
Eyewitness News has a crew on the scene. Keep checking wchstv.com for updates.
Emergency crews were responding to a report of a chemical incident Wednesday at the Clearon Plant in South Charleston.
The incident involving chlorinated dry bleach was reported about 8:30 a.m. at the plant, which is located along MacCorkle Avenue, a 911 dispatcher said.
Eyewitness News has a crew headed to the scene and will update this story as more information becomes available.
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