West Virginia Plant Explosion Injures 4, Prompts Shelter-in-Place Order

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A West Virginia chemical plant explosion Wednesday injured four people, prompting officials to issue a shelter-in-place order.

The Kanawha County Commission said the order had been lifted by late morning.

The plant explosion took place after 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Chemours facility in Belle, West Virginia, the Kanawha County Commission said in a statement.

Among the injured were two workers at the plant and one person who was hit by falling debris, CBS News reported.

Officials believe the explosion was caused by a mixture of methanol and chlorinated dry bleach, Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper said.

“We’ve had at least one very serious explosion and a working fire at the plant,” Carper added.

People who lived in the area said their houses shook. Emergency officials announced a shelter-in-place order for a two-mile distance around the plant and closed a nearby road so firefighters could extinguish the flames.

Chemours was developed as a spinoff company from DuPont in 2015. The plant is located along the Kanawha River, ten miles away from Charleston, West Virginia. The town of Belle, West Virginia, has a population of about 1,100 residents.


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