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Chemical Plume in Kansas Forces Evacuations

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Early Friday morning, a chemical spill that created a large chemical plume forced evacuations in Atchison, KS. MGP plant, headquartered in Atchison, is a company that distills alcohol products and produces food ingredients. City officials identified that the chemicals involved in this incident were sulfuric acid and sodium hypochlorite.

The chemical cloud was a result of a delivery to the plant being placed in the wrong tank, which caused a reaction.

According to the National Weather Service of Kansas city, the chemical spill moved north, and they released the below model for the projected path of the chemical cloud.

Many of the schools were evacuated to the nearby Wal-Mart, and the Kansas Department of Transportation said that Kansas Highway 7, U.S. 73, and U.S. 59 highways in Atchison were closed temporarily until the chemical cloud dissipated.

All residents and business owners in the affected area were encouraged to shelter in place, keeping all doors and windows closed. The spill originated between 10th and 14th streets, south of Main Street, according to Atchison officials.

Once the dust settled, reports coming Atchison Hospital emergency room, spokeswoman T.C. Roberts, stated that fifty-two people were treated for respiratory discomfort, with one remaining in ICU.

Update

MGP officials released a statement noting that the company has "worked hard to make sure the immediate situation has been resolved" and also promising to "mitigate the chance of a similar incident occurring in the future."

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Adam Herndon Adam served ten years in the United States Army primarily in the Operations and Physical Security realm. His tour allowed him to serve in the DC Metro area as the Operations for a Military Police Company and a Sniper/Observer team member for the Military District of Washington's Special Reaction Team, Hawaii as Operations for a Brigade Combat Team, and Fort Leavenworth as the Operations for the Department of Emergency Services as well as a Physical Security Specialist. Adam now works for the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies, where Critical Thinking and Group Think Mitigation are taught in hopes of bettering the decision making process and the development of better plans and ideas.