UPDATE: LyondellBasell Official Says 'No Need to Be Concerned' After Weekend Evacuation, Explosion

Company representative says area surrounding chemcial plant is safe, despite black smoke and rumbling emanating from complex.

Grundy County officials and company representatives alike are saying there's no need to fear any cataclysmic aftershock from Sunday's crisis at the LyondellBasell chemical plant.

"The LyondellBasell Morris complex is safely burning product in its flare and residents may see black smoke and hear rumbling," according to a Monday afternoon news release from LyondellBasell spokeswoman DeeAnn Dunaway Thigpen.

"There is no danger or environmental impact to our community and no need to be concerned. The black smoke is caused by a lack of steam that resulted from the loss of electricity Sunday. We are restoring steam to the flare as quickly as possible which will reduce the smoke and rumbling."

A power failure in the plant outside Morris in unincorporated Grundy County prompted .

Residents returned to their homes hours later despite a small internal explosion about 7 p.m. Sunday.

"That was handled and the all clear was sounded last night," said Grundy County Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Lutz on Monday afternoon.

Reports of additional explosions overnight Sunday are unfounded, according to both Lutz and the dispatch supervisor from the Grundy County Sheriff's Office.

All police and fire personnel cleared the scene Sunday night, Lutz said, but that doesn't mean the work is over for employees of the LyondellBasell plant at 8805 North Tabler Road.

"They're going to be continuing to be venting for a while until all the components of the plant are working again," Lutz said.

mom of 2 May 31, 2011 at 12:26 AM
Venting WHAT exactly?
Laura May 31, 2011 at 01:17 PM
Yes, what are they venting?
Concerned about Enviroment May 31, 2011 at 01:47 PM
I think the headline should be sent to Jay Leno. No need to be concerned, it was just an explosion at a plant that evacuated a 2 mile radious surrounding the plant. But no need for concern while thick black smoke pours out of the plant. And dont worry about the rumbling you feel & hear that is similar to that of an earthquake coming from the plant. Don't be concerned that the plant has had issues 2 Sundays in a row. The plant is safe. Really? I call BS
Shannon May 31, 2011 at 05:17 PM
I completely agree with you!!! I feel as if a cover-up is in the works. I would love to hear what the EPA and OSHA have to say about the whole situation. If they tell me that it is safe, I will start to feel a little better. I'm not taking the word of the company directly.
mom of 2 May 31, 2011 at 05:45 PM
The EPA will tell you that this plant is notorious for releasing toxins into our environment. Go to the EPA website and you can see the numerous times they have been fined. Just poke around a little on the Internet (at reliable websites like EPA) and you'll find waaaay more than you want to know about this plant and others in our area.


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