Evacuations after explosion at Akron chemical plant

AKRON, Ohio-- Emergency crews are at the scene of an explosion at a chemical plant in Akron.

It happened at Emerald Performance Materials, located on West Emerling Avenue, shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Akron Fire Lt. Siergie Lash said no injuries were reported and authorities are working with the business to make sure all employees are accounted for.

Fire officials have evacuated the area in a half-mile radius because of the volatility of the chemicals at the plant. Police and firefighters are also being kept back. Police call it a dynamic and potentially dangerous scene.

The primary concern is the hazardous butadiene, which has a gasoline-like odor. It can cause irritation to the eyes, nasal passages, throat and lungs, according to the EPA.

Summit County's decontamination trailer and the hazmat is at the plant. Authorities are using a plane to watch for hot spots.

Akron police said South Main Street from Cole Avenue to Archwood Avenue is closed. People should avoid the area.

Akron Metro RTA said the fire is near its offices on Kenmore Boulevard so its building was evacuated. Other businesses within in the half-mile perimeter were also evacuated.