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Past Emergency Events



May 11-12, 2003

At approximately 9 p.m. on Sunday May 11, a chemical accident occurred at the Marsh Plating Company, 103 North Grove Street, in the City of Ypsilanti.  Fire, Police, EMS and HazMat crews immediately responded, and found a cloud of potentially harmful vapors being released. 

Based on wind direction and speed, and on the chemicals known to be on the premises, a coordinated decision was made by the incident commander, HazMat Team Director and Emergency Management Director to activate the Emergency Alert System.  Citizens were advised to "shelter in-place" if they were located in the City of Ypsilanti North of Michigan Ave and East of River Street until further notice.  All local broadcast stations were alerted, and television viewers were informed via emergency cable interrupt.

"Shelter-in-Place" means all citizens should go inside their home or business, close all doors and windows, turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems, and go to an above ground room (not the basement) with the fewest windows and doors.  Citizens should then listen to local radio stations for additional official instructions.

By 1 a.m., HazMat crews were able to activate a shut-off valve to a tank of hydrochloric acid inside the facility, suspected to be responsible for the leak and subsequent vapor cloud release.  The intensity of the vapor cloud diminished somewhat, but not completely... so the "in-place sheltering" alert was continued.

At 2 a.m., HazMat crews were able to contain the release to the facility property lines, and the "in-place sheltering" alert was lifted.

Marc C. Breckenridge
Emergency Management Director

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