40 evacuated following chemical explosion in southeast Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

40 evacuated following chemical explosion in southeast Memphis

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - 40 people were evacuated Thursday following an explosion at a chemical plant in southeast Memphis.

The incident happened at Life Gas Company at the intersection of Cherokee and Sharpe.

A company spokesperson said a pressure valve on 9,000 gallon tank of liquid oxygen burst, causing the substance to spew out, creating a heavy mist.

The spokesperson said liquid oxygen is a medical gas used by doctors' offices and hospitals. The chemical is non-flammable and doesn't pose a severe threat or hazard.

"The only problem it would prevent is if there was a fire in the area. Because it is oxygen, it would increase that fire," said Lt. Wayne Cook with the Memphis Fire Department.

Authorities evacuated neighboring businesses as a precaution.

 

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