Pennsylvania Plastics Plant Fire Sends Chemicals Into Sewers

HAZLETON, Pa. (AP) -- Chemicals entered the sewer system around a Luzerne County plastics manufacturer as firefighters battled a fire at the facility, officials said.

Residue from the chemical styrene, used in glue and plastic cement, flowed into the sewer system with water being used to extinguish a chemical tank fire Saturday at Kama Corp., said Mark Carmon, regional spokesman of the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Several workers at Kama suffered minor injuries, said Al Bardar, director of Luzerne County Emergency Management Agency. No residents were evacuated but they were told to stay inside their homes.

After the fire was extinguished there were reports of an unidentified odor in some homes near the plant, and sewer lines were being flushed out late Saturday as a precaution, Carmon said.

Officials had not determined what sparked the blaze. A Kama worker reported that shortly before the fire broke out, the lights went dim and then there was a flash, Bardar said.