Entire Town Evaccuated After Acid Leak

MELVINDALE, Mich. (AP) -- Authorities have evacuated about 3,000 people from a Michigan town after hydrochloric acid was reported leaking from a metal finishing plant.

The acid leaked from a tank on the roof of Reilly Plating Company in Melvindale, southwest of Detroit, sending a cloud over the area. The local fire chief says the leak has been contained.

Two schools in the two-square-mile evacuation zone have been cleared as a precaution.

Officials say the leak could become a bigger problem if it rains. Forecasts are calling for possible thunderstorms in the area this afternoon.

Hydrochloric acid is a highly corrosive liquid that can cause burns if it comes into direct contact with the skin or eyes. Rain can turn the chemical into a gas, which can burn lung tissue and cause other respiratory problems.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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