At least two people have been injured after an explosion at a West Virginia chemical plant that prompted authorities to order residents within 3.2 kilometres (two miles) of the plant to remain indoors.
Officials were reported as saying the chemicals involved in the explosion included dry chlorinated bleach and methanol. People who lived in the area reported their houses shaking at the time of the explosion.
The explosion occurred at 10:02pm (03:02 GMT Wednesday) at the Chemours plant in the Kanawha County community of Belle, the county commission said in a statement.
Local media reported that one injured person had been taken to the hospital by ambulance, while the second person, who was hit by debris, drove themselves.
WATCH: Aerial footage shows a fire at the Chemours plant in Belle following an explosion. Officials say the situation has stabilized since the video was taken.
(Video courtesy of Aaron Spencer) pic.twitter.com/AcSOgWXGBy
— Eyewitness News (@wchs8fox11) December 9, 2020
“We’ve had at least one very serious explosion, and a working fire at the plant,” Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper told WCHS-TV.
“We believe it [the explosion] was probably caused by a barge in the river area of the plant,” Carper told local media.
The shelter-in-place order was lifted later on Tuesday, Kanawha County Commission said in a statement, adding that: “Emergency responders have evaluated the scene and have determined that an all clear can be issued”.
Chemical Incident at Chemours Plant pic.twitter.com/4wyicpH1gk
— Kanawha County (@kanawhaus) December 9, 2020