Mandatory Evacuation Remains for Part of Plainwell

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PLAINWELL, Mich.– A mandatory evacuation is still in place for homes and businesses a quarter of a mile around a facility that experienced several chemical explosions.

Drug and Lab Disposal is a company that disposes hazardous and industrial waste. According to Plainwell Department of Public Safety, firefighters put out a fire inside Monday afternoon. However, a water pipe burst, leaking water onto some chemicals, and that caused a reaction.

Crews have been monitoring several hot spots inside the building throughout the night. Countless air tests have revealed the air is safe, but as a precaution, everyone within a quarter-mile of DLD was urged to leave the area until further notice.

“One portion of the building is very acidic right now so we cant go in there,” said John Varley, Detective Sargent with the Plainwell Department of Public Safety. “We have to stay out and be patient and wait for hazmat.

Detective Sargent Varley also said the storms that blew through overnight were a big concern for first responders. They worried that the winds and rain would with the chemicals and blow more smoke into surrounding neighborhoods. So far, there have been no further issues.

Young Environmental out of Muskegon is expected to arrive on site this morning. Crews hope to learn more about the situation in order to further update the community.

Meantime, about 14 businesses located on Industrial Parkway will not be open today because of that mandatory evacuation.

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