BELLE, W. Va. (KDKA/AP) - A shelter-in-place order has been lifted for hundreds of people following an explosion and fire at the former Dupont Chemical Plant in Belle, West Virginia.
Belle, West Virginia is about 10 miles south of Charleston and the shelter-in-place order covered a two-mile perimeter around the plant.
It happened after 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Chemours plant in the Kanawha County community of Belle, the county commission said in a statement. The injured people included two workers and one person hit by debris, Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper told WCHS-TV.
Officials believe the explosion involved chlorinated dry bleach and methanol, Carper said.
"We've had at least one very serious explosion and a working fire at the plant," Carper told the news station.
People who lived in the area reported their houses shook. Emergency officials announced a shelter-in-place order for 2 miles around the plant and a nearby road was closed before firefighters were able to extinguish the flames and allow people to move around.
Belle Mayor David Fletcher, who also is a volunteer firefighter, said the blaze was extinguished before midnight. "Right now we feel like everything is in pretty good shape," he told the TV station.
Still, it was a very hard day, Kanawha County Manager Jennifer Herrald told The Associated Press.
"We lost a law enforcement officer and they laid her to rest, our community was already hurting over that event, and then to end the day with an explosion at a chemical plant when our first responders were already grieving and exhausted from dealing with a funeral — it was a hard situation to go through this evening," she said.
(TM and © Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
for more features.