Thursday, February 08, 2007

Explosion Rocks Kansas City

Photo Credit: My World as I shot it

Every blogger in KC is talking about the same thing. We had a Chemical Plant explode here yesterday. Tony has links and says, Kansas City looked like Mordor for a day. Blog KC broke it down like this:
* Thick ash and 3-inch chunks of crud are falling Downtown and as far away as Midtown. The crud is reported be highly toxic.
* Downtown buildings are shutting down their HVAC system.
* KCMSD has evacuated five elementary schools in the area, all kids have been taken to the Paseo Academy.
* Two big power lines were hit, causing power outages as far away as Barry Road and several of the suburbs.
* The plume of smoke is visible as far away as Libety and Overland Park.
* I-35/29 is closed in both directions at the Paseo Bridge
* The fire has spread to at least one nearby house
* EPA ground monitors report no air problems, but an EPA plane is en route from Texas to test air inside the cloud.
* The plant produces lots of solvents and paint thinners that can cause eye and lung irritation.

Photo Credit: Living in the Scoot Utopia

Personally the kids and I noticed our lights flickering around the time of the explosion. Of course we didn't know at the time what it was from. A little less than an hour later I ironically first found out about it on the national news via Fox (of course). Then a friend whose husband works at our local NBC affiliate called me and told me to turn on the local news. The Chemical Plant really isn't that far from our house but we weren't close enough to be in the danger zone.

The real issue is it wasn't far from my husband's work. He could see the flames and the smoke while driving home which took him twice as long because some of the highways and a bunch of the roads were closed down.

Several friends called to see if I knew since I live the closest to the plant. One friend was driving on the highway all the way in Overland Park and could see the smoke. Another was on I-70 and could see it too. Last night I saw on the news that NKC Highschool was being turned into a Red Cross shelter and many schools were still going to be in session today just at alternative places.

As far as I can tell they still don't know what caused the explosion and one of the main concerns is the toxicity of the air around the plant. Thankfully, everyone was able to evacuate before the plant exploded and no one was hurt or injured.

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