Neighbors say they weren't notified of hazardous chemical leaks at former plant

Drone footage of the building (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Drone footage of the building (Source: WMC Action News 5)

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC) - Port Road in West Memphis, Arkansas was blocked off for most of the day after a chemical leak at a plant that's no longer in use.

It happened on Wyanoke Road at the former Diaz Chemical Company plant, which closed in 2008.

The road that's commonly used as a shortcut was closed Thursday evening as West Memphis police blocked it off, keeping people away from the building.

West Memphis Fire Department said they believe the leak was caused by a private chemical disposal company that was attempting to remove old tanks and the chemical in question could possibly be bromine.

The WMC Action News 5 Drone was in the sky as an emergency hazardous materials company worked to clean up the area.

"Police sitting there, wouldn't let anyone in," said resident Randy Alvis.

West Memphis evacuated five nearby businesses, but people staying at the Tom Sawyer RV Park just a mile from the chemical plant said they were not notified of the leak.

"The wind was blowing back more toward West Memphis than us," said Randy's wife, Barbara.

Barbara and Randy said they found out about the leak on the news. They said they're still concerned about the leak and the clean-up process to remove the potentially harmful chemical.

"Bromine can kill you," Barbara said.

This is not the first time authorities have had to step in to removal chemicals at the location.

In 2011, the EPA stepped in to help in the cleanup of flammable materials left over by the former owner.

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