Chlorine leaking from a rail car at a manufacturing plant in Proctor, WV, sent two people to a hospital, officials said.
The leak ended up detected Saturday when emergency authorities said a chemical cloud from the Axiall Corp. plant formed and headed south. Marshall County emergency officials said two people went to a hospital with unspecified injuries.
As a result, the U.S. Coast Guard closed a portion of the Ohio River near Proctor.
The release of liquid chlorine came from a rail car at the plant, the Coast Guard said. An unknown amount of the product released into the ground and air, creating a plume traveling down river.
In addition, the leak caused WV Route 2 to shut down in the area and led to the evacuation of the Kent neighborhood.
Axiall Corp., which makes chemical products in high performance plastics, pulp and paper production, packaging, chemical intermediates, paints, and medical and agricultural applications, issued the following statement via its website:
“At approximately 8:40 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, a rail tanker car loaded with liquid chlorine developed a leak inside the Axiall Natrium chemical facility, which is located in Marshall County near Proctor, WV. The rail car is no longer leaking. HazMat crews are on site and are evaluating the railcar and area of the leak. The Natrium plant was evacuated and is currently shut down.
“Nearby communities in Proctor and Kent, Ohio, and northern New Martinsville, WV, were evacuated and state highway 7 in Ohio and highway 2 in West Virginia, as well as the Ohio River, were closed to vehicle traffic. Nearby industrial plants were ordered to have their employees shelter in place.
“One Axiall employee and a contract worker were transported to offsite hospitals for treatment; others were treated at an onsite health facility.”