WATCH: Massive blaze sweeps through chemical plant in New Jersey

One of the two chemical facilities engulfed in flames reportedly produces chlorine

A large fire broke out at a chemical plant in Passaic, New Jersey, with nearby residents urged to stay inside with their windows closed. One of the facilities burning reportedly has a major chlorine stockpile.

Despite warnings for local residents to stay inside, a large crowd of people – including young children – could be seen outside observing the flames.

Large fire at a chemical plant in Passaic New Jersey. The mayor is asking nearby residence to keep their windows closed. @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/mLVrSjdwql

— Nick Caloway (@NickJCaloway) January 15, 2022

Breaking: Chemical plant blaze in Passaic, New Jersey, is now an 8-alarm fire. Nearby residents are being evacuated. pic.twitter.com/WQfTM18HIo

CRAZE OF UMAR RIAZ

— * Zàķì (@Zaki_Lucy) January 15, 2022

The blaze, which was eventually upgraded to a 10-alarm fire, triggered evacuation of the nearby homes. The building reportedly collapsed onto itself under the flames. Photos from the scene show its scorched debris lightning up the night skies.

#Update The factory blaze in PASSAIC, New Jersey has been upgraded to an 10-Alarm Fire.

The 3 story building has fully collapsed on itself, according to fire rescue radio transmissions.

Stills by Dakota Santiago (https://t.co/GD8DIUYZw1) pic.twitter.com/M64UKltnHl

— Freedomnews.tv FNTV (@FreedomNTV) January 15, 2022

CBS News’ Nick Caloway reported, citing Passaic Mayor Hector C. Lora, that as many as 100,000 pounds of dangerous chemical substance – chlorine – were set aflame in the blaze.

Passaic Mayor Hector Lora tells me 100,000 pounds of chlorine are burning. @CBSNewYork https://t.co/149maH2oHL

— Nick Caloway (@NickJCaloway) January 15, 2022

In a statement, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy urged locals to keep their windows closed and expressed his prayers for “first responders on the scene.”

A local weather forecaster claimed that the potentially toxic smoke could be being blown as far as New York’s Staten Island, calling on everyone in its path to stay inside.

Chlorine gas can be deadly and was used as a chemical weapon during the First World War. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of chlorine exposure can include difficulty breathing, vomiting, blisters, blurred vision, and a burning sensation in the nose, mouth, and eyes.

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