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Hazardous materials incident occurs at Toray Plastics

Emergency responders rushed to Toray Plastics in Front Royal Wednesday afternoon for a hazardous material incident.

Warren County Fire and Rescue Units were called to Toray at 1:07 p.m., according to a statement from the department.

Fire and rescue personnel, along with Toray safety employees and management, determined a chemical reaction occurred in a 55-gallon drum containing an unspecified material that was in a remote chemical storage building. The reaction caused a failure of the drum, allowing an active spill or leak of the hazardous chemical. The reaction set off the fire alarm system but crews found no fire within the building, the release stated.

The incident was confirmed by Lisa Ahart, vice president of environmental safety for Toray Plastics.

She said the mixture in the drum was water and resin. Ahart did not know the exact nature of the reaction. The alarms in the building are designed to be very sensitive in case of such an incident, she said.

She, however, disputed there was a spill.

“There was no release of a chemical mixture. There was no environmental impact,” Ahart said

Based on the findings, units isolated the area of the chemical storage building and requested a response from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Regional Hazardous Materials officer and the Frederick County-Winchester City Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team.

Upon the arrival of the hazardous materials response resources, a unified command system was established and entry into the hazardous environment was made.  The haz-mat team was able to contain the incident to a single vessel and eliminated any life safety hazards to the area. A hazardous materials mitigation plan was developed and implemented and the facility was turned over to Toray representatives, according to the release.

The drum  was one of several that the company is preparing for disposal, Ahart said.

Emergency responders left the scene at 6:50 p.m. There were no reported injuries.

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