Kanawha County officials implemented a shelter in place early Wednesday morning following a leak at the Clearon Plant along MacCorkle Avenue, in South Charleston, WV. Officials said an unknown amount of chlorinated dry bleach, used in cleaning supplies and in swimming pool products, was spilled which caused a small fire and a chlorine gas cloud that hovered over the western part of Kanawha County.
According to the company’s website, Clearon Corp. is a premier, world-class manufacturer and worldwide supplier of water treatment chemicals. Clearon employs 120 people at its South Charleston facility with 118 employees at the plant at the time of the leak. Employees were first evacuated and then told to go back inside during the shelter in place. One plant employee was taken to the hospital as a precaution and a couple of firefighters were also treated at the scene for heat exhaustion.
The shelter in place included the area near the Mound in South Charleston, Spring Hill, North Charleston and the city of Dunbar and lasted for about 30 minutes.
County officials reached out to the people of the community to alert them to the shelter in place in a variety of ways including text messages, calls to land lines, Facebook and Twitter posts, radio and television announcements and ringing the sirens so that anyone outside could hear.
As of Wednesday afternoon the cause of a chemical spill that forced the shelter in place in the Kanawha Valley remains under investigation. Emergency officials say the chemical left in air is not strong enough to cause any problems or illness.
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