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No injuries reported, after chlorine leak forces evacuation of Grand Island homes

About 10 homes in Grand Island were evacuated early Thursday evening in response to a report of a chlorine leak at the Grand Island Water Treatment Plant, according to a spokesman for the Grand Island Fire Company.

Ray Pauley, public information officer for the fire company, said firefighters received a call at 4:19 p.m. from employees at the Baseline Road facility that they had encountered a leaking pipe while in the process of changing chlorine supply bottles.

A safety perimeter was established around the plant and about 10 nearby homes were evacuated to protect the occupants from toxic fumes, Pauley said. The Brighton Volunteer Fire Department provided mutual aid and sent a trained hazardous materials unit in encapsulated hazmat suits to the scene, which determined most of the resulting gases had dissipated. Repairs on the leaking pipe were initiated.

According to Grand Island Fire Company Chief Chris Soluri, in a statement, prompt action by water treatment personnel to shut down operations at the plant made it "an easily manageable situation" rather than something that could have resulted in serious injury or death.

There were no injuries and normal plant operations resumed at 6:01 p.m.

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