Red Cross responds to chemical spill in Statesville

Photo courtesy of Paul Webster with Iredell County Emergency ManagementThe Greater Carolinas Chapter of the American Red Cross set up an evacuation shelter following a chlorine leak at a facility on North Center Street. image

The shelter was located at the Statesville Civic Center on Broad Street, where Red Cross staff and volunteers provided food and drinks for those affected by the evacuation.

The following was taken from an article written by Donna Swicegood of the Statesville Record & Landmark:

A chlorine leak inside a South Statesville plant resulted in the evacuation of neighborhoods around the plant for about two hours Monday morning.

Statesville Fire Department Deputy Chief David Cline said the leak was in a 2,000-pound cylinder-like tank inside Bartlett Milling on South Center Street.

The leak was a small one, but those living southeast of the plant were evacuated as a precaution, Cline said. Most people were advised to stay inside and turn off the air conditioning, he said.

Between 50 and 80 employees were inside the plant when the leak was noticed, and all evacuated safely, Cline said.

The Mooresville Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials team responded to the scene and contained the leak, while SFD personnel helped wash down those firefighters who went inside the plant to contain the leak.

Cline said because of the potential problems with chlorine, the decision was made to evacuate neighborhoods to the southeast of the plant.

Statesville police officers went door-to-door telling residents about the situation, and asking them to go to the Statesville Civic Center, where the American Red Cross set up a shelter.

One person needed transportation and ICATS took them to the civic center. At one point, about 80 people, mostly Bartlett employees, were at the civic center.

The message sent out in a half-mile radius around the plant instructed people to stay inside and turn off air conditioners. Around 1 p.m., the message was sent that everything was clear and a/c units could be turned back on.

Cline said everything went as smoothly as possible. “Everybody did a good job,” he said.

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