An explosion at a chemical manufacturing plant in Akron on Wednesday now has an evacuation radius up to a half mile, according to Akron police.
The radius surrounds Emerald Performance Materials located at 240 West Emerling and includes mostly businesses, police said. Anyone within the evacuation who has not yet left is being permitted to remain indoors in their homes, according to officers. However, anyone within the evacuation who has already left will not be allowed to return until the Akron Fire Department issues an all-clear.
Evacuees are being taken to the University of Akron Student Union located at 303 Carroll Street, according to police. Parking is free on all UA parking lots for those who are picking up evacuated individuals, according to officers. The Carroll Street parking lot is the closest lot available.
Police said exposure to the chemical involved in the explosion, butadiene, can cause irritation to the eyes, throat, nose and lungs. Butadiene is used to make rubber. Officers said there is no indication of a mass release or plume of butadiene that could impact the general public. The Akron Fire Department hazmat team has entered the building to assess the situation further, police said.
Anyone in the radius is permitted to self-evacuate. Anyone who need assistance evacuating can call 330-375-2101.