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Delaware Memorial Bridge Closed Tonight: Highly flammable gas leak from the Croda Atlas Point chemical plant



PENNSVILLE, NJ – A chemical leak closed the Delaware Memorial Bridge on Sunday evening in both directions, causing traffic on one of the main arteries of the East Coast to stall on one of the busiest travel days Year. The chemical concerned is ethylene oxide, a highly flammable gas which, according to one official, is a final methanol product. The leak is not considered toxic, but the incident is considered a dangerous situation, reports CBS Philadelphia.

The leak came from Delaware-based Croda Atlas Point chemical plant, located near the double-hanging bridges on a mainline route between Washington and New York public information officer Holloway Terrace Fire, George Greenley said:

"If this channel had an ignition source, it could have been a catastrophe for the bridge," he said.

The bridge was closed at 5pm Sunday. Croda operators requested the closure, the Delaware River and the Bay Authority tweeted.

NNS / WPVI TV

Lashrecse Aird, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, was on his way back from New York to Virginia in the bridge traffic. The Thanksgiving commute usually takes six hours, she said, but she's been traveling that long, and her GPS told her she had more than three hours.

A police vehicle and a dangerous goods truck blocked the bridge as it approached. She was at standstill for an hour before she was diverted, she said.

"We ended up taking the 295 North to get to the 322 and take us to the Barry Bridge," she said, "and then that will bring us back to the south we still do not move. "

CBS Philly reporter Chantee Lans tweeted a video depicting traffic on the north side of I-495 for miles.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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