New Explosions at Drug Disposal Co. Force Additional Evacuations

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06-25-13 Plainwell explosion 01 Fire team DeWolfPLAINWELL, Mich. — A new round of explosions and potentially unsafe chemical compounds forced a neighborhood under a mandatory evacuation notice.

The explosions first rang out on Monday afternoon at Drug and Disposal Incorporated.  There were no injuries reported, but residents were forced from their homes as a safety precaution.

The evacuation notice was lifted at around 9:00 p.m. on Monday, but just hours later, a new round of explosions and fires were reported at the company.  As a result, residents once again left their homes while crews investigated the situation.

Drug and Lab Disposal is a company that disposes hazardous and industrial waste. According to the Plainwell Department of Public Safety, firefighters put out a fire inside the facility on 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 Tuesday morning. Crews hope to learn more about the situation in order to further update the community.

In the meantime, about 14 businesses located on Industrial Parkway will not be open on Tuesday because of that mandatory evacuation.

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