Rubbertown plant evacuated after chemical reaction - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Rubbertown plant evacuated after chemical reaction

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A business in Rubbertown was evacuated this morning after a chemical reaction that has been contained inside the plant.

According to MetroSafe dispatchers, it happened at the Zeon Chemical plant sometime before 8:15 a.m. at 4100 Bells Lane. No one in the neighborhood has been evacuated, but around 30 people were told to leave the plant.

Metrosafe Communications Dispatcher Vince Luney said the chemical reaction occurred when peroxide and some form of acid were accidentally combined. The mixture totaled 11 gallons.

Two plant workers were taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion. There were no other reported injuries and the mixture was contained.

Luney said a "Code Red" message was delivered to nearby Rubbertown residents via phone, text and e-mail at 8:30 a.m. The message alerted the residents to the chemical reaction, explained that fire crews were responding and told them that evacuation was unnecessary.

Fire crews and police responded to the scene and closed roads in the area. Railroad traffic near the plant was also diverted.

Just before 11 a.m., a second "Code Red" message was sent to area residents to tell them the chemical reaction had been contained, and was being monitored by first responders.

Luney said it was not clear when workers would be allowed back into the building.

"We evacuated the building," said Bill Sampson with Zeon Chemicals. "We got the people out of the work area. We got contractors and people out of the adjacent building and also out of their work areas. And now it's safe, it's stable. We're just allowing it to take its course."

"We are monitoring the reaction process, cooling the vessel, and we're doing air monitoring," said Chief Fred George with the Lake Dreamland Fire Department. "At this time, we're receiving absolutely no adverse readings on our air monitoring system outside the building."

Zeon's website says it's a supplier of polymers, synthetic rubber and specialty chemicals.

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