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Chemical Spill Releases Fumes into the Air

By: Muriel Bailey Email
By: Muriel Bailey Email

An early morning chemical spill Wednesday in Cordele, Georgia caused quite a stir among some residents in the Wiregrass area.

When some residents walked outside this morning, they were greeted with, what most describe as a "skunk odor."

Reports say around 2 a.m. Crisp County fire units responded to Drexel Chemical Company after an incident triggered a release of fumes into the air.

Officials say workers at the plant were trying to remove an insecticide called dimethoate, it was in pellet form so they warmed it to make the removal easier.
Apparently the vat got too hot and blew the lid off.

Georgia emergency management officials say at least 24, 55-gallon drums of insecticide exploded.

Health officials say the odor could cause some issues for people with respiratory problems.

"All the information we've received from the department of environmental management and our own research reveals that there's no danger to the public over here because it's over 100 miles away from us," said Houston County EMA Director Clark Matthews.

"All these areas have experienced that odor in the air today for two reasons, one, strong winds out of the east consistently all day blowing it our way and then we've had very low cloud cover almost like a blanket over the top of us and that's kept the smell close to the ground," said Meteorologist Connor Vernon.re most likely to blame for the smell traveling so far.

Officials say so far four people were hospitalized complaining about the smell.

Health officials say the chemical isn't poisonous but people with respiratory problems are advised to avoid prolonged time outdoors if they can smell the odor.

Plant officials say the spill has been cleaned up.
If you have any questions, please call the Alabama Department of Public Health or your local EMA office.


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