Chemical Smolders at Ford County Soybean Plant
by The Associated Press
UPDATE: Piper City Fire Chief Anthony Lane says the fire at the Precision Soya plant was extinguished by mid-day, and did not involve chemicals. An investigation into the cause is continuing.
Officials say a chemical at north-central Illinois plant is smoldering after a water-reactive agent used to fumigate soybeans likely got wet during overnight storms.
Patti Thompson is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Emergency Management. She says Precision Soya officials alerted the state Thursday morning about the incident in the village of Piper City.
Thompson says a two-block area around the plant has been evacuated and a hazardous material team from Champaign is at the scene.. A nearby school district in Kempton canceled all classes for the day.
The district's junior high school is across the street from the plant.
A message was left with the company's headquarters in Indiana. Piper City is in Ford County and has about 830 residents.