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DEC: Selkirk gas leak situation stable, but not necessarily over

WNYT Staff
Updated: September 01, 2020 06:42 PM
Created: September 01, 2020 09:33 AM

SELKIRK - Officials from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation believe the period of danger is over at the

SABIC Innovative Chemical Plant in Selkirk. There is no further evacuation planned. However, Route 32 was expected to stay shutdown overnight as a precaution.

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DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos says he doesn't expect any out-of-the-ordinary readings, but he is urging nearby residents to be prepared for an evacuation Tuesday night just in case.

The hazardous material, styrene gas, is used in making plastic. It started leaking from a rail car Tuesday morning, forcing road closures and evacuations.

Many lives were inconvenienced or disrupted after toxic gas filled the air, causing plenty of concern that filled the community.

Commissioner Seggos declared the situation stable, but not necessarily over.

After the gas was detected leaking from a railroad car tanker around 7:00 Tuesday morning, a half-mile wide radius evacuation was ordered which affected three large companies, including SABIC, the plastics manufacturer on whose property the leak began.

Local fire departments were called in. They began pouring water on the tanker car to cool it down, a process that continued into the evening.

Styrene is a known carcinogen, so there was lots of concern.

DEC has set up nine air monitoring stations all around the SABIC plant.

NewsChannel 13 continues to follow this story. We will bring you updates on WNYT.com as we get them and on our future newscasts.


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