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Tennessee Sulfur Leak Prompts Evacuations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - About 30 to 40 people have evacuated their homes after an acidic gas escaped from a chemical plant near Memphis.

A spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office says deputies and firefighters went door to door in the mainly rural area to tell people to leave. The evacuations were in an area about a mile around the Lucite International plant.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Shular says no injuries have been reported.

Plant spokesman Tom Eubanks says the vapor was a combination of sulfur dioxide and sulfur trioxide. Sulfur trioxide is an ingredient in sulfuric acid and can mix with water particles in the air to form an acid mist.

Eubanks said the fumes escaped when a sulfuric acid plant was started up. Plant personnel were shutting it down in a step-by-step process.



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