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Chemical Leak Forces Evacuations in Ford County
Residents of a small town in Ford County have been forced out of their homes. This morning, a chemical reaction at a soybean plant in Piper City forced evacuations of homes and a nearby school.
The chemical in question is aluminum phosphide--a pesticide that can have serious consequences if ingested.
The pesticide reacted with leaking water at Precision Soya Plant, forming a cloud that poured from a storage building.
Officials said it's a fairly common procedure to fumigate the soybeans, but this time something went wrong.
"It's used to fumigate and get rid of the bugs in the soybeans," Captain Dave Ferber with the Champaign Fire Department said. "They've done it before in past years. They've done it before this year.'
"Because of the close proximity to the school, we chose to evacuate the school and two blocks downwind of the location," Ferber said.
Officials said it's extremely dangerous to mix aluminum phosphide with water. That's why hazmat crews were called in.
Evacuations were a precautionary measure. No injuries have been reported.