Rubbertown Fire Under Control, Community Not at Risk

by Phillip M. Bailey on March 21, 2011

The fire following an explosion at a chemical plant in the Rubbertown neighborhood is under control and there is no risk of chemical exposure, says MetroSafe Director Doug Hamilton.

Firefighters were called to Carbide Industries at 5:40 p.m. and the fire was treated as a low-level hazardous material emission. The explosion was declared a Level 2 Hazardous Materials incident, according to MetroSafe officials.

During the incident, however, there was an apparent breakdown in communication when conflicting reports in the local media indicated an evacuation was ordered by Metro Police and a hotline established to warn residents was not updated with any information.

The only emergency order was for residents within a one-mile radius to stay indoors as crews handled the fire and investigated the possibility of a leak.

As of 7:08 p.m, the city’s Rubbertown Community Awareness Line of Louisville, or RCALL, had no information about the incident. The hotline was established in 2004 to relay information to residents about chemical incidents.

At least four workers were injured in the explosion.

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