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Alarms sound at St. Clairsville Wastewater Treatment Plant

A hazmat team is taking samples. This is the scene from the St. Clairsville Legion, near where the investigation is taking place.

For the second time in 10 days, first responders rushed to a hazmat call at St. Clairsville's Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Employees called 911 when they arrived at work and noticed both ringing alarms and a cloud over the facility.

At 7:08 a.m., the Cumberland Trail Fire District and its mutual aid was dispatched to a hazardous materials call.

"We responded to the scene and we were met with employees that confirmed the alarm was ringing for either chlorine or sulfur dioxide," Chief John Slavik said.

Employees were immediately evacuated while first responders went to investigate.

"When the hazardous materials team got here and got suited up, they went down and made the discovery," Slavik said.

Hazmat officials say they did not see a cloud inside or outside the building, but a quick check confirmed a chlorine leak.

"We isolated the cylinder that was leaking, and we did have a positive color change chart indicating that there was still chlorine present inside the structure," Assistant Fire Chief Ken Brooks said.

The Code Red Reverse System was activated and all citizens within a .5-mile radius were given instructions. CodeRED has since been lifted for residents and traffic through the area.

Officials say no one was treated as a result of the leak.

"We do have some gas that we're ventilating out of the structure, but at this time, the leak has been mitigated and we're going to make another entry here in about 15-20 minutes just to make sure that the building is cleared and we can give an all-clear to the incident," Brooks said.

A week and a half earlier, a similar incident involving a leak at the same site turned out to be the less volatile chemical sulfur dioxide.

Investigators traced the root of that incident to a cracked hose.

But officials say the cause of Monday morning's leak is still undetermined.


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