(WSYM) — A state of emergency continues in Flat Rock after a major fuel spill at a Ford assembly plant resulted in the evacuation of more than 300 people from their homes.
- Ford halting production at Flat Rock plant this week as many employees have to evacuate homes
- Evacuation recommended for residents in part of Flat Rock over hazardous fumes from gas leak
The situation was first reported last Monday regarding an obnoxious odor, which gave way to a joint operation between local, state, and federal authorities focusing on mitigating the effects of benzene-containing vapors that leaked into the city's sewer system.
However, Monday morning Mayor Mark Hammond confirmed the source has been plugged. And while the flammable threat is over, the efforts are still ongoing to eliminate issues related to benzene, which is a component of gasoline.
The local fire department has been activated to handle the sewer’s flushing process, which Flat Rock Fire Chief Jim Kotana says is going well, but it's still an ongoing process that will take some time before the area is deemed fit for residents to return.
Meanwhile, Ford spokesperson T.R. Reid says the company has taken various measures to not only stop the leak but is also working with authorities to prevent such an incident from happening in the future. Reid also added that Ford apologizes to the community for the inconvenience and is working with public officials to attend to residents' needs in the containment zone.
Flat Rock residents are being urged to call 211 for the latest information and 911 for any emergencies.