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Overland Dr. update: Small gas leak still unsecure

Cayce, SC (Paul Kirby) Sat Aug 11, 11:49 a.m. - The fire service incident commander who is in charge at the scene of the anhydrous ammonia leak at 167 Overland Drive near Cayce is reporting that as of 11:19 a.m. Saturday, there is still a small active leak of the gas. Anhydrous ammonia is often used in the refrigeration process at food processing plants. The first calls came in reporting the leak came in at approximately 10:00 a.m. Saturday. This gas is extremely dangerous at certain high quantities measured in parts-per-million of the gas to air ratio. Most ratios above 20 parts-per-million are uncomfortable for humans to be around.

Near the leak, they are getting readings of less than 65 parts-per-million which might be dangerous close to the source, but shouldn't be to the neighbors off the site. The men and women working to stop the leak are wearing special protective equipment and are going through a rigorous decontamination process when coming out. Lexington County EMS has additional units enroute as a precaution and SC DHEC has a representative enroute as well.

Currently, the situation at the processing plant is such that alarms are beginning to alert across the facility. The plants personnel were evacuated early on and we have received no reports of injuries thus far. The SCDOT doesn't show any officla road closing as of yet on their website.

Citizens should continue to avoid the area and let the experts work. Do not attempt to travel Old Dunbar Road or go to the plant to check on anyone. If you live near the facility, no public evacuation order has been given. Stand by, stay calm, and await further instructions from the fire service and other emergency agencies.

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