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16 treated after Bedford hazardous materials incident

The Bedford County Department of Fire and Rescue and Bedford Fire Department are on the scene...
The Bedford County Department of Fire and Rescue and Bedford Fire Department are on the scene of the incident at the Bedford Wastewater Treatment Plant on Orange Street in Bedford.(WDBJ7)
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 9:03 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 15, 2022 at 3:41 PM EDT
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BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - A hazardous materials incident in Bedford County has been contained as of Friday afternoon, according to the Town of Bedford.

Air quality continues to be monitored outside and inside at the Bedford Regional Water Authority’s (BRWA) Central Wastewater Treatment Plant to ensure the chlorine gas has been dissipated. Air quality inside and outside the plant read 0 parts per million for chlorine gas as of Friday afternoon, according to the town.

Around 7:40 a.m. Friday, the BRWA received a chemical delivery at the plant on Orange Street in Bedford. Emergency crews say there was an accidental mixture of two chemicals, sodium bisulfite and sodium hypochlorite, that led to a chlorine gas cloud.

Four people, two employees and two first responders, were taken to Bedford Memorial Hospital, where they were treated and released. Twelve other people were evaluated and treated on the scene.

Bedford Police went door-to-door, according to the town, alerting the residents of 46 homes and employees of seven businesses to inform them about the situation and suggest they evacuate. Blue Ridge Community Church opened a shelter for anyone needing a place to go, but as of Friday afternoon, no one had checked in.

Orange Street is still closed as of Thursday afternoon; all other roads are back open.

The town says this was an isolated situation at the plant and no water or wastewater services are disrupted. “Please note that there are no health concerns for your drinking water and no water or wastewater services are impacted,” according to Bedford Regional Water Authority.

A hotline has been created for residents to call with any questions or concerns at 540-587-6060.

Several agencies responded to assist with this incident:

· Bedford County Department of Fire and Rescue

· Bedford Fire Department

· Bedford Police Department

· Bedford Public Works

· Bedford Regional Water Authority

· Bedford County Sheriff’s Office

· Centra Health Transport

· Forest Fire Department

· Life Care Ambulance Service

· Moneta Fire Department

· Salem Hazardous Material

· Roanoke Hazardous Material

· Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM)

· W.E.L. (Cleanup Services)

UPDATE as of 11:30 a.m:

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