Nitric acid vapors released from US Nitrogen plant; no injuries reported

GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – US Nitrogen officials confirmed there was a release of nitric acid vapors at the plant in Greene County Wednesday night.

Greene County Mayor David Crum said the call about the release came in around 6:10 p.m. Wednesday, and when Sheriff Pat Hankins arrived he saw an orange, hazy smoke around the building.

Crum said they then notified residents in a nearby neighborhood between Gravel Woods Road and the Walmart distribution center, urging people to stay indoors and to turn off their air conditioners.

Around 9 p.m., residents were able to leave their homes.

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency told News Channel 11 Wednesday night that they have a district coordinator who has responded to the scene at US Nitrogen and they will remain at the plant throughout the night.

Hazmat crews are also on-scene.

Plant Manager Andrew Velo said in an earlier news release that the vapors released were dissipating.

Following the release, US Nitrogen officials called 911, the Greeneville/Greene County Office of Emergency Management and the Greeneville Fire Department, as part of the company’s standard operating procedure.

“For the safety of our workers and the community, US Nitrogen will cooperate with these agencies and will investigate the cause of the release to ensure that the issues are resolved,” Velo said.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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