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APEX, N.C. -- Town officials declared a state of emergency early Friday and evacuated about half of the town after a cloud containing chlorine gas spewed from a volatile industrial fire.
Fewer than a dozen Apex residents went to the Rex Hospital emergency room in Raleigh, complaining of respiratory difficulties, officials said.
State environmental officials fined EQ $32,000 in March for failing to minimize the possibility of a release of hazardous-waste materials or implement a contingency plan for a possible release.
The company has also recycled deicing fluid in Michigan and Ohio. In 1994, the company entered into a voluntary consent judgment with Michigan after a fire at a waste treatment plant. That judgment included a $500,000 penalty.
"If you see the smoke, run away from it," Radford said.