An explosion has been reported at a chemical plant in the Rubbertown neighborhood in west Louisville with at least one person being reported to have been burned.
Firefighters were called at 5:40 p.m. to Carbide Industries located at 4400 Bells Lane. The fire is being treated as a low-level hazardous material emission. The plant is described as the largest producer of calcium carbide products, which is the chemical a MetroSafe official told WFPL is leaking from the plant.
“We’re trying to determine the scope of the explosion,” said Chris Poynter, a mayoral spokesman.
Initially it was reported by a local television station that Metro Police had ordered an evacuation of the neighborhood, however, WFPL was told by city officials that the only emergency order was for residents within a one-mile radius to stay indoors.
UPDATE: The explosion has been declared a Level 2 Hazardous Materials incident, according to MetroSafe. The warning is a release of a chemical product that causes a sensible odor and nausea along with nose or throat irritation.
According to MetroSafe officials, at least three people have been injured.
As of 7:08 p.m., the city’s Rubbertown Community Awareness hotline, 502-574-2580, established by city officials in 2004 to alert residents had no information about the incident.