MI Plant Evacs after Chemical Cloud

Monday, March 17, 2014 @ 07:03 PM gHale


A chemical reaction created a cloud hovering over the Haviland plant in Grand Rapids, MI, Thursday, fire officials said.

Even with the cloud, firefighters said residents were not in danger. Around 9:30 a.m. a chemical cloud ended up suspended over the Haviland plant.

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Firefighters said the cause of the cloud was from a stable chemical reaction that occurred during a mixing process at the plant. As a part of the safety process, Haviland employees ended up evacuated and people working and living nearby had to stay inside as a precaution.

The ramp from southbound U.S. 131 to Ann Street also closed while firefighters, police, and a HAZMAT team responded to the situation; it reopened around 1 p.m.

This isn’t the first time HAZMAT units visited the Haviland plant. The company has two divisions, one provides specialty chemicals for things like surface finishing while the consumer products division distributes more than 85 different swimming pool chemicals.

In June of 2003 the Grand Rapids Fire Department responded to the plant for a nighttime chemical spill. In that case, about a dozen gallons of hydrochloric acid spilled out due to a mechanical failure. There were no injuries and again at the time, company officials said the public was never in danger.



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