- Associated Press - Sunday, November 23, 2014

SANTA PAULA, Calif. (AP) - People driven from their homes in a rural section of Santa Paula last week after a truck at a waste treatment plant blew up have finally been allowed to return.

Ventura County fire Capt. Mike Lindbery says the evacuation order for homes within a mile of Santa Clara Wastewater was lifted late Saturday afternoon.

A vacuum truck exploded early Tuesday, spreading about 1,200 gallons of a chemical mixture containing sulfuric acid and an organic peroxide.

Authorities say the blast, spill and fire it caused sent 52 people to hospitals, including 10 firefighters. All but two were quickly treated and released and no injuries were considered life-threatening.

Lindbery says cleanup operations are continuing.

Fears of toxic smoke prompted the evacuation. Authorities say only a few homes and businesses were affected.


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