|Michigan hazardous to Jeff's health|
- Wednesday, August 10 2005, 22:59:06 (CEST)|
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Explosions Rock Chemical Plant in Mich.
By JoANNE VIVIANO, Associated Press Writer
ROMULUS, Mich. - A series of explosions rocked a chemical plant, causing a fire that lit up the night sky and prompting hundreds of people to evacuate their homes.
Authorities said no serious injuries were reported from the fire which broke out late Tuesday at the E.Q. Resource Recovery Inc. plant in this suburb of Detroit, although some people sought treatment for lesser symptoms.
Andrew Crawford, 18, who lives within a few blocks of the explosion site, was one of about 300 Wayne residents who went to a shelter at school.
"My backyard lit up orange," he said. "It was like a bomb went off."
The company specializes in treating, recycling and disposing of hazardous materials such as airplane deicing fluid and industrial paint solvents.
By Wednesday afternoon, flames and smoke still rose from several tanks in the plant complex. Firefighters had no estimate when the fire would burn itself out.
The cause of the blasts had not been determined.
Romulus Public Safety Director Chief Charles Kirby had urged residents within a mile of the fire to leave their homes. The area included about 1,000 homes in Wayne and 150 others in Romulus, officials said.
By Wednesday afternoon, 32 residents and firefighters gone to hospitals complaining of a burning sensation in their mouths or difficulty breathing, officials said. Most were treated and discharged.
Romulus is home to Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Flights were not affected by the fire, said airport spokesman Mike Conway.
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