Tank explodes at Alabama chemical plant; no injuries but residents
urged to stay indoors
AP Photo ALMOP101
THEODORE, Ala. (AP) - A tank exploded and caught fire at a
chemical plant early Monday, producing clouds of acrid smoke, and
emergency officials urged nearby residents to stay indoors until
the fire died out.
No one was injured, officials said.
Fire crews were sent to the INEOS Phenolchemie plant several
miles south of Mobile after 1 a.m.
"There were about three explosions and a large fire when we
arrived," Mobile Fire-Rescue spokesman Steve Huffman said.
The blasts apparently involved a tank containing a mixture of
acetone and sulfuric acid, Huffman said, but the exact cause of the
fire and explosions was not immediately determined.
People south of the plant were urged to stay in their homes or
offices, but the advisory was canceled by late morning after the
fire burned itself out.
Patrick Earby said he saw thick, dark smoke bellowing from the
plant when he drove to his nearby job at about 7:30 a.m.
"It was enough to make you want to roll up the windows," he
said.
INEOS Phenolchemie, with headquarters in Germany, is one of the
world's largest producers of phenol and acetone, according to the
company's Web site.
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On the Net:
INEOS Phenolchemie: http://www.phenolchemie.com/main.asp