AP NEWS

Akron firefighters respond to explosion at chemical plant

July 18, 2018

Akron firefighters respond to explosion at chemical plant

AKRON, Ohio — Akron police and fire crews were at the scene of an explosion near the city’s downtown, authorities said. 

Officials have closed off South Main Street from East Archwood Avenue to East Wilbeth Road due to an explosion, Akron police said on Twitter. 

The explosion was reported about 1:30 p.m. and occurred in South Akron.

Videos and photos circulating on social media show a huge flame and smoke coming from Emerald Performance Materials on Emerling Avenue. The company describes itself as a producer of “technologically advanced specialty chemicals for a broad range of consumer and industrial applications.”

Akron fire officials later confirmed the explosion and fire occurred at the chemical company.

Massive explosion and fire near south main street in Akron @fox8news pic.twitter.com/C1B5RZMjp3— BigTime (@SOlenzak) July 18, 2018

Authorities said the company has a several chemicals in the building and are asking people to stay away from the area. Businesses and other dwellings in near the scene have been evacuated, the fire department said.

The explosion forced METRO RTA to evacuate its offices in the 400 block of Kenmore Avenue. The evacuation of the RTA offices could lead to some delays, the agency said.

A cleveland.com reporter is heading to the scene and will provide an update as information becomes available in this developing story. 

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