Chemical leak forces business evacuation, road closure in Harrisburg

Site of the hazardous chemical leak investigation
Site of the hazardous chemical leak investigation

A Harrisburg road was shut down for some time overnight and nearly 50 people were evacuated Wednesday morning due to a chemical leak.

According to the Harrisburg Fire Department, the incident occurred between Pharr Mill Road and Stough Road. Crews were called to the scene just after midnight when people started to notice a chemical smell in the area.

Firefighters said a rail car at Mallard Creek Polymers transfer site was leaking butadiene which is a chemical that is used as a bonding agent in the production of synthetic rubber. The leak has since been controlled.

Crews are unsure what caused the leak. Highway 49 was shut down in both directions for some time due to the leak but has since reopened.

Hazmat crews were on scene.

Firefighters say there is no threat to the public. Fifty people who were at a nearby packaging business were evacuated when the leak was initially reported.

No one was hurt in the incident.

Harrisburg Fire tweeted that firefighters were still monitoring the air in the area.