The residents of Northwood, Iowa, have evacuated after a chemical fire broke out at a warehouse storing crop dusting materials. The evacuation wasn’t mandatory, but most of the town’s 1,900 residents left voluntarily.
According to the Worth County Sherriff’s Office, the toxicity of the smoke has not been determined, but the sulfuric acid in the fire makes it especially difficult to fight as it reacts with water.
So far, four people have sought treatment at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa. Their conditions have not been released, but sulfuric acid can cause vomiting and respiratory problems.
Update: The DesMoines Register is now reporting that the evacuation has been lifted and residents have returned. Authorities say there was not as much sulfuric acid as originally feared and the cloud has shifted away from residential areas.
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