A large blaze at a recycling plant in Indiana has been fully extinguished, according to an official announcement. An order to evacuate more than 2,000 residents remains in place. The recycling plant was filled with plastic & chemicals that have potentially harmful effects.
About 2,000 of the 35,000 residents of Richmond were ordered to evacuate. Residents haven’t been given the all-clear to return to their homes. Anyone in the downwind area of the incident was requested to move to shelter to avoid being in danger or in a smoke plume.
Before the evacuation order can be lifted, more meetings & data analysis are needed. 98–99% of the fire at the recycling plant has been knocked down by the firefighters as of Saturday. Transportation was arranged for residents to quickly go back to their homes to get medication or for any other needs.
After he fell down a ravine, a firefighter who responded to the scene injured his ankle. While the fire fighters were assisting, one more of them was injured due to overwhelming heat on Wednesday. Initially on Tuesday, the fire was reported sometime after 2 p.m. local time & has since been contained.
The city of Richmond & a citizen jointly own the plant. Debris samples from the area tested positive for asbestos-containing materials. The fibers of asbestos can become trapped in the body & may eventually cause genetic damage to the body’s cells.
Saturday, crews in protective gear began collecting debris from three schools near the fire site. Federal contractors are being roped in to assist with the proper cleanup & removal of visible debris in both Indiana & Ohio. Debris from the schools will be cleared first, & then contractors will begin to deploy drones to search rooftops for additional debris.
Richmond Mayor Snow was adamant that the business owner would be held accountable. Residents were asked by emergency officials not to disturb or touch any debris they found on their property. The building was owned by lawn & garden product maker Hoffco/Comet Industries and was operational for 60 years before closing in 2009.
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Currently, the facility was being used for recycling, including plastic. A thick, black smoke was created by the fire and was seen from a distance too. It will take several days to extinguish the fire completely. Air monitoring is being conducted by officials.