Officials Evacuate Residents, School Near Western Kentucky Chemical Leak

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HERNDON, Ky. (AP) -- Emergency officials have evacuated an elementary school and some residents who live near a company in rural western Kentucky where a dangerous chemical is leaking.

Officials in Christian County were notified of an anhydrous ammonia leak at the Agri-Chem company around 6:23 a.m. CDT, said Dee Hopper, director of the county's emergency operations center.

Hopper said students at the nearby South Christian Elementary school were evacuated from the building by bus and residents within one mile of the plant in Herndon were also told to leave their homes as a precaution.

Hopper said six people had been treated with oxygen by paramedics, but there had been no serious injuries.

"This is a very dangerous chemical," Herndon Volunteer Fire Chief Neil Farmer told the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville. "It can cause death."

Hopper said the leak had not yet been contained. Emergency officials were on the scene.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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