- Associated Press - Thursday, September 7, 2017

CHARLESTON, Tenn. (AP) - The Latest on a Tennessee chemical plant emergency (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has reopened the busy Interstate 75 corridor between Chattanooga and Knoxville following an explosion at a chemical plant.

Spokesman Lt. Bill Miller says the interstate was closed in both directions on Thursday afternoon when emergency crews responded to what they called a chemical emergency at the Wacker Polysilicon plant in Charleston, about 30 miles (49 kilometers) northeast of Chattanooga.

Emergency officials lifted a shelter-in-place order on Thursday evening.


5:25 p.m.

Emergency crews in Tennessee are responding to the scene of what they call a chemical emergency.

The Bradley County Emergency Management Agency on Thursday urged people to stay out of the Charleston area in southeastern Tennessee as authorities respond to the event at the Wacker Polysilicon plant.

Charleston is 30 miles (49 kilometers) northeast of Chattanooga.

Emergency officials say Walker Valley High School is sheltering in place and will release when appropriate.

Authorities are also telling people to shelter in place and turn off their HVAC systems.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported that five workers at the plant last week suffered chemical burns from the release of silane, a highly flammable compressed gas.

Wacker in June began a $150 million expansion of the sprawling $2.5 billion plant.

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