Conflicting reports indicated some early responders were transmitted to the hospital after breathing toxic fumes. A public shelter was established at a local high school, and some 5,000 people are in the process of being evacuated. Residents were notified of the evacuation by door-to-door contacts and automated telephone calls. Authorities expressed concern that the clean up efforts might be hampered by an approaching thunder storm.
Acrylonitrile is used in the manufacture of plastics products. It reportedly causes nausea, headaches and an elevated heart rate. Authorities issued the evacuation in order to prevent nearby residents from coming into contact with the fumes.