Chemical Spill Forces Evacuation Of Grand Valley Business

A chemical spill caused the evacuation of a local manufacturing plant in Grand Junction, Wednesday night. 15 employees were evacuated from Sartomer, on the River Road, after five gallons of highly flammable liquid was released into the air.

Plant manager Matt Monroe says 5 gallon of liquid hetane, a chemical similar to gasoline, was released into the air. When employees were attempting to measure the level of liquid in the container, and did not know at the time that there was pressure built up in the vessel. The release lasted for 5 minutes.

Monroe says the vapors of the material are highly flammable and the main concern was the possibility of a fire. The Grand Junction Police Department and Hazmat crews responded to the scene to assist in case of a fire.

Sartomer uses hetane to make polybutadine resin, which is used in the plastic and rubber industry. No injures were reported and employees were allowed back into the building a couple hours after the spill.

In the 19 years Sartomer has been in business, this is the first occurrence of this nature at the facility.

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