Reaction at chemical plant prompts shelter-in-place warnings in several towns

Posted: Updated:
EAST RUTHERFORD -

A chemical reaction at a plant in Bergen County prompted at least two towns to issue shelter-in-place warnings.

East Rutherford police say they received a call just before 2 p.m. Thursday at the Diamond Chemicals plant on East Union Avenue near Dubois Street for reports of a chemical reaction that was causing concern. Chlorine inside the plant apparently mixed with another chemical, producing potentially dangerous fumes.

Officials say that the plant was evacuated as a precaution. They also say that an unattended machine inside the plant caught fire, which was put out by the fire department.

The potential for dangerous fumes caused officials in Rutherford and Lyndhurst to warn residents living near the plant to stay indoors, close their windows and turn off their air conditioning units.

Hazmat crews tested the air and determined that it was safe just before 5 p.m.

Officials say that there were some minor injuries reported, but did not elaborate.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Diamond Chemical is listed as a soap and detergent manufacturer.

The Associated Press Wire Services contributed to this report.

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