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Hazmat Situation at Belvidere Chrysler Plant Causes Evacuation

A hazmat situation in Belvidere’s Chrysler plant forces workers out the door and keeps emergency responders on-scene for hours.

BELVIDERE- Instead of heading to lunch, Chrysler Group's Assembly Plant employees were forced to evacuate the building for a chemical mixing incident. This caused commotion and confusion for some workers.

"Right now everybody is just kind of wondering what's going on, as well as I am for sure, but they're doing the best they can to keep everybody safe and get everybody out of here. Right now they just dismissed everybody," said Chrysler Quality Coordinator Brandon Stangeland.

Chrysler immediately implemented its emergency response plan. Employees tell Eyewitness News they were evacuated to the administration building or outside.

Belvidere and Rockford fire departments responded to the situation with hazmat crews. First responders monitored hazardous materials and air quality throughout the afternoon.

“Word came over the radios that there was a chemical spill over in the body shop so they evacuated the building, called hazmat in. I’m sure OSHA is here as well," explained Stangeland.

Eventually some employees were allowed to return to specific areas of the plant where air quality samples were found to be at acceptable levels. Ambulances were on-scene for hours. The plant is being ventilated.

Belvidere Fire Department is investigating the nature and cause of the incident. There is no official word yet on which chemicals were involved in the incident.   



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