A catastrophic Indiana industrial fire continued to blaze for a second day as the sun came up over the Hoosier State. The massive Indiana industrial fire erupted at what has been labeled as a recycling plant in the city of Richmond, located on the Indiana and Ohio border. A plume of highly toxic black smoke is being released from the fire and continues to spread over the city of Richmond and beyond. Officials have been very direct about the severe risk to health of exposure to this smoke plume:
The smoke is toxic to breath.
Thousands of residents in the half-mile zone surrounding the recycling plant have been evacuated from their homes and businesses. There is no indication as to when they will be able to return to their residences and other locations.
In addition, the Wayne County Emergency Management Office has ordered people outside the evacuation zone to shelter in place immediately and until further notice. According to Wayne County Emergency Management:
Evacuation orders for residents and persons within 0.5 miles of the incident have been issued. Those outside of the 0.5 mile and east/northeast (downwind) of the incident are encouraged to shelter in place. To shelter in place, turn off HVAC units, keep windows and doors closed, and bring pets inside until advised further.
According to emergency personnel and other officials, the cause of the Richmond recycling plant has been identified. Mayor Dave Snow explained that the fire started when a tractor-trailer on the grounds ignited for some reason (yet to be identified). The fire nearly immediately spread to a nearby building used for storing plastic materials associated with the recycling process. Mayor Snow went on to note that this has resulted in a “worst case scenario” in which the lives of all 35,000 Richmond, Indiana residents are at risk. According to the Mayor:
This is something we never wanted to see happen. We want everyone to limit their exposure to that black smoke and stay far away from the area. Not only is it a dangerous area right now … limiting your exposure to this black smoke is the best thing for your health.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management are now on scene at the site of the yet to be contained Indiana recycling plant blaze. One of the immediate tasks of these agencies is to closely and continuously monitor air quality in light of the toxic emissions coming from the Indiana industrial fire.
Richmond city officials advised that the recycling plant has been cited for unsafe conditions in the buildings at the site as well as around the grounds. The city further explains that the facility is owned by a private citizen, although that person’s name has not yet been made known to the public.
According to the City of Richmond, the owner of the recycling plant has failed to take any appropriate action in regard to the citation pertaining to unsafe conditions at the recycling plant. The city notes that the citation in fact made note of the prospect for the type of disaster that is now occurring at the facility. In other words, the owner of the recycling facility has been on notice of the risks presented by the unsafe conditions existing in the buildings and on the grounds of the plant.
You may be like many people facing exposure to the highly toxic smoke emitted by the Indiana industrial who have questions about their rights. You can connect with an experienced, committed Doan Law Firm Indiana industrial fire lawyer by calling us at (800) 349-0000 any time of the day or night. Our Indiana industrial fire lawyer team will continue to monitor the situation at the Richmond recycling plant. There is no cost and no obligation for a consultation with an Indiana industrial accident attorney from our firm. We are here for you during this difficult time.