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A chlorine emergency at a water treatment plant in Scottsburg, IN, led to a shelter in place order for the immediate area last week.

Firefighters responded to a chlorine leak inside the Scottsburg water treatment plant Friday afternoon.

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“The leak happened when workers at the plant were switching chlorine tanks and an unknown amount spilled,” Scott County 911 Director Greg Ramoni said. “The plant shut the system off,”

The leak came from a 2,000-gallon tank of chlorine. The plant shut down when the leak was first reported, but re-opened late Friday evening.

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One worker ended up going to the hospital. The shelter in place order lifted around 6:45 p.m. The leak did not affect the local water supply, officials said.

Officials said chlorine began leaking into the plant and into the air outside just after 3 p.m. Friday. Workers were switching tanks in the plant when they found the leak.

Accidental exposure to chlorine gas need not be deadly when the proper safety procedures and equipment are in place. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSAH) have strict regulations for the use of chlorine. Many accidents are preventable with the proper training and toxic gas monitoring safety equipment.

Click here for the federal guidelines on chlorine safety.

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