Hazmat scare at U.S. Nonwovens sent employee running for exit

No leak, plant official says
Posted at 11:58 AM, Sep 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 18:02:59-04

LUDLOW, Ky. – Fumes sent frightened employees hurrying out of an industrial plant Thursday, but there was no hazmat leak, a plant official said.

”The building just basically got filled full of smoke and started burning our eyes and stuff,” said Blake Colbin, who just started working at the U.S. Nonwovens plant at 1 Sandbank Road two months ago.

“I left my phone, wallet, everything in there. I got out as quick as possible. Yeah, it was little scary,” Colbin said.

The fumes were created in the making of a drain cleaner,  warehouse manager Pete Kohlmorgen said. U.S. Nonwovens is known for making household cleaning products.

Kohlmorgen insisted it was safe.

“The product is not toxic. It’s not combustible. It’s not explosive. There was nothing that leaked onto the ground. Everything is completely, 100 percent contained,” Kohlmorgen said.

A hazmat crew, two fire departments and the Kentucky EPA vouched for the safety inside the building.

Chopper 9 captured an exclusive view of a two-member hazmat team being hosed down after emerging from a building about 12:40 p.m.

But the situation sounded dire when Ludlow and Park Hills arrived several hours earlier. At the time, officials reported that "an apparent leak of toxic and explosive chemicals at the facility caused a potentially dangerous situation," according to a post on the Park Hills department Facebook page.

About 30 employees were inside the building and were sent home for the day. No injuries were reported.