Indspec Halts Chemical Production After Leak

Only plant in North America to produce a compound used in the rubber and tire industry has halted production until the cause of a chemical leak that forced evacuations is determined.

PETROLIA, Pa. (AP) -- A western Pennsylvania plant that had a weekend chemical leak that forced hundreds to evacuate their homes is not producing a compound used by the rubber and tire industry.

Indspec Chemical Corp. in Petrolia, a town about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh, began operating at full capacity on Monday, with workers filling all regular shifts.

But plant manager Dave Dorko says the plant has halted production of the chemical compound resorcinol until the cause of Saturday's leak is determined. Indspec, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp., is the only plant in North America to produce the compound.

Late Saturday, about 2,500 people were told to leave the area after oleum -- a material similar to sulfuric acid -- leaked, forming a mile-long cloud over Petrolia.

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