Wacker's chemical plant in East Tennessee announced it's going to be closed for what may be months, while officials investigate an explosion that happened September 7. The blast released trace amounts of hydrochloric acid into the air and hospitalized several people. Workers quickly contained the leak.
The county sheriff said seven people who live nearby sought treatment for symptoms related to the incident. But the company maintains the leak posed no threat to the community.
Officials now say production may not resume for months at the $2.5 billion plant, which employs about 650 people. During the downtime, some of those workers will assist in repairs. Back in August, a different leak injured five employees. Wacker says the two incidents were unrelated.