Homes Evacuated, Firefighters Hospitalized Following Va. Chemical Spill

November 16, 2010

About two dozen homes have been evacuated and two firefighters taken to the hospital after several containers of a commercial fumigant fell from a truck in Danville.

City spokesman Arnold Hendrix said officials got a call of smoking packages on a ramp connecting U.S. Routes 58 and 29 around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday. Police determined that a door to a transportation truck came open on the ramp, spilling containers of magnesium phosphide.

Magnesium phosphide is used to fumigate the local tobacco warehouses. It reacts with water, so rain caused several of the containers to release a toxic gas. Hendrix was not aware of how many containers fell or were activated.

Hendrix said the driver has been charged with failure to secure a load.

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