(MENAFN) On Friday morning, the 215 Freeway was closed in both directions after a serious chemical leak accident forced the evacuation of more than 100 homes in Perris, 122 kilometers east of downtown Los Angeles.
According to the local NBC 4 news channel, a large plume of smoke coming from a rail car along the railway running parallel to the freeway in the town with more than 77,000 inhabitants prompted someone to call Cal Fire Riverside County about the chemical leak around 7:40 p.m. local time on Thursday.
Styrene, which is used in latex, synthetic rubber, and polystyrene resins, was found to be the chemical that was leaking, according to officials, who claimed that a chemical reaction inside the tank happened when the substance was kept in an overheated environment.
According to Cal Fire Riverside County Chief John Crater, styrene typically sits at a temperature of about 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees Celsius), but the approximately 188,000 pounds of styrene in the tank had reached temperatures as high as 323 degrees Fahrenheit (161.7 degrees Celsius).
The potential effects of the leak, Crater said, had been discussed with experts across the nation, and "what they're telling me is this can resolve itself in two days."
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