Phosphorus Fire Prompts Protective Action

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GALLIPOLIS FERRY, W.Va. (AP) – A phosphorus fire at a chemical plant prompted Mason County residents and others, including nearby schoolchildren, to shelter in place for about an hour.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said in a statement that it will be inspecting the ICL Chemical plant in Gallipolis Ferry following the Wednesday afternoon fire.

Plant officials said the fire was caused by a leak in the phosphorus unloading station. The company sounded a siren and gave the “all clear” about an hour later. ICL says no one was hurt.

DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater says it’s unclear how much of the chemical was released.

Beale Elementary School Principal Pat Brumfield says students were out on the playground when they heard the siren go off. She says staff ensured that the students were safe.