Emergency crews responded Wednesday morning to an explosion at an Eastman Chemical Company chemical plant in Kingsport, TN.

Aerial footage from WJHL showed gray and white plumes rising from the manufacturing complex about 80 miles northeast of Knoxville on the border with Virginia.

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The company said no one suffered an injury but employees were asked to shelter in place as a precaution.

Eastman lifted the shelter in place for the surrounding community later on in the afternoon, but said those within a half-mile of the explosion should continue to stay inside.

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Eastman said a “process upset” in the area of the plant dealing with coal gasification caused a “loud noise and a visible plume.” The company advised neighbors around the plant to remain indoors and turn off their air conditioning.

Police, fire and emergency crews responded to the incident, which was reported shortly after 10 a.m. local time. 

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) released a statement saying:
“TDEC has been notified of the incident at Eastman Chemical Company. We are closely monitoring the situation and working with local agencies to provide technical expertise as needed.”

Eastman officials said: “Around 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, Eastman experienced a process upset in the coal gasification area of its Kingsport, Tenn., manufacturing site. There have been no injuries reported beyond first aid. We’re following all safety protocols to assess and secure the area. We’re working to determine the cause and assess the impact to operations and the business.

“We’ll provide more information as it becomes available.”

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