DOVER, Ohio - Authorities in Dover have reopened Interstate 77 and said it's safe for residents in the area to go outside following a chemical reaction at the Dover Chemical Corporation.
I-77 north and southbound, from Strasburg to New Philadelphia, reopened at 2 p.m. on Monday after being shutdown around 9:45 a.m.
Around 9:20 a.m., a reactor overheated inside the plant causing a vapor release that resulted in off-gassing of antifreeze.
Reverse 911 calls went out to about 100 residents shortly after the incident, advising them to stay inside and close their windows.
"No employees were injured. We are in the process of cooling the reactor, which appears to be working," said Dover Chemical Corporation President Dwain Colvin. This means there's no longer an explosion threat.
Two drivers along I-77 were taken to nearby hospitals after being overcome by the fumes, complaining of respiratory problems.
Chemical workers weren't affected by the plume because the off-gassing occurred outside the plant. An alarm sounded alerting them of the problem.
The entire Davis Road NW plant was not evacuated, only the portion where the reaction happened. Operations there will resume on Tuesday, except for the area where the incident happened.
Previous issues at Dover Chemical Corporation
On Feb. 8, 2012, one worker at Dover Chemical Corp. was taken to a nearby hospital after a mishap with some chemicals. Officials described the man's burn as "minor," but the company said it would investigate the matter.
5 On Your Side investigator Sarah Buduson found the U.S. Dept. of Justice said Dover Chemical Corporation agreed to pay $1.4 million in penalties on Feb. 7, 2012 for the unauthorized manufacture of chemical substances in Dover and Hammond, Indiana.
The company violated two sections of the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Dover Chemical Corp. produces most of the chlorinated products in the U.S. but the company stopped manufacturing short-chain chlorinated paraffins as a result of the settlement.
Short-chain chlorinated paraffins can be toxic, especially to children. Issues include genetic impacts, effects on nerves and cancer.
In November 2011, a vapor cloud at Dover Chemical Corp. sent three workers to local hospitals. Authorities at the time said no residents were ever in danger.
Dover Chemical was also cited by OSHA in June 2008 for a serious safety violation related to electrical equipment after receiving a complaint. They settled with OSHA, paying $1,383. OSHA also received a complaint about Dover Chemical Corp. in January 2009, but investigators didn't find anything wrong and the complaint was closed.
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