Chemical Plant Explosion: Thousands Evacuated

By: AP
By: AP

The mayor of a North Carolina community where a fire at a hazardous waste plant forced thousands of people from their homes says a fire is still burning there.

Mayor Keith Weatherly says a hazardous-materials team that visited the site found that the building where the fire was burning has collapsed. He says video equipment is being brought in to determine the exact location of the fire, and how best to fight it.

He says authorities want to make sure the fire is contained before the all-clear is sounded and people are allowed to return to their homes.

As many as 17-thousand people were urged to leave their homes in Apex, on the outskirts of Raleigh, as a chlorine cloud rose high over the area.

Hospital officials say 25 people were taken to emergency rooms with respiratory problems. And officials are urging people who have pets to monitor them for symptoms of exposure to the chemicals.

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