- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Five people were hospitalized, two in critical condition, after a hazardous materials leak at a Spokane business.

Workers at Pacific Steel and Recycling accidentally punctured a barrel Wednesday morning, releasing a yellow vapor plume that sickened workers there and at a nearby city building.

Officials say two people are listed in critical condition, two in serious condition and one in stable condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Spokane police spokeswoman Teresa Fuller says the substance in the barrel was chlorine not arsenic trichloride, as previously thought. Arsenic trichloride is a highly toxic compound. Police were asking people to avoid a four-block radius around the company.

Nearby residents and business employees were told they should be prepared to evacuate. They were allowed to return early Wednesday evening.



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