Chemical smolders at Illinois soybean plant


Piper City, Ill. (AP) -- Officials say a chemical at north-central Illinois plant is smoldering after a water-reactive agent used to fumigate soybeans likely got wet during overnight storms.


Patti Thompson is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Emergency Management. She says Precision Soya officials alerted the state this morning about the incident in the village of Piper City.


Thompson says a two-block area around the plant has been evacuated and a hazardous material team from Champaign is heading to the scene. A nearby school district in Kempton canceled all classes for the day. The district's junior high school is across the street from the plant.

A message was left with the company's headquarters in Indiana.


Piper City is in Ford County and has about 830 residents.


It's about 45 miles north of Champaign.

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