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  • Parent Category: News

Chemical smolders at Piper City soybean plant, school dismissed as a precaution

PIPER CITY, Ill. -- Officials say a chemical emitted a toxic gas at a Ford County soybean facility this (Thurs) morning. The unidentified chemical was smoldering after a water-reactive agent used to fumigate soybeans likely got wet during overnight storms.

Patti Thompson is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Emergency Management. She reports Precision Soya officials in Piper City alerted the state this morning about the incident. The village of about 820 people took precautions, evacuating homes on the south side. The Tri-Point School District also dismissed students for the day and rerouted buses for the students return home.

Thompson says a two-block area around the plant has been evacuated and a hazardous material team from Champaign is heading to the scene. A nearby school district in Kempton canceled all classes for the day. The district's junior high school is across the street from the plant.

Ford County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Dennis Higgins said a pellot-product, used for poison control to control varmints, got wet from overnight rains. The moisture triggered a gas being emitted.
Illinois Route 24 was also shut down from either direction leading to Piper City.

Precision Soya is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The company operates 11 other similar facilities. The agricultural firm serves the seed industry.

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