Connect with us

News

Fire erupts near chemical plant; residents told to stay away

Published

on

fire-erupts-near-chemical-plant;-residents-told-to-stay-away

PASSAIC, N.J. (AP) — A fire near a New Jersey chemical plant with flames and smoke visible for miles in the night sky spread to multiple buildings in the complex Friday, threatening to reach the plant’s chemical storage area, authorities said.

Passaic Mayor Hector Lora told residents in a video posted on Facebook to stay away from the area and keep their windows closed.

Lora said firefighters were still assessing the situation. There were no initial reports of loss of life, he said.

Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost said the building was vacant when the fire broke out.

“A portion of the building did have chlorine in it and that seems to be under control at this time,” he said just after midnight. “We’ll be monitoring that also throughout the night but certainly we’re far from having control of the fire.”

The fire chief also said much of the building where the fire originated has collapsed within itself. Water from the nearby river was being used to supplement the supply for firefighters.

One firefighter was taken to a hospital after getting hit in the face with debris, but was doing well, Trentacost said. Many other firefighters had slipped and fell while battling the flames as water used to tamp down the fire turned to ice. The chief estimated temperatures were in the teens.

New York City Emergency Management sent a notification Friday night saying residents might see or smell smoke from the fire.

The Qualco Inc. plant is about 13 miles (21 kilometers) west of Manhattan. It produces chemicals used to treat pools and spas, according to its website. It is next to Majestic Industries, a designer and manufacturer of gaming and hospitality furniture, Lora said.

It was unclear how the fire started.

The Department of Environmental Protection was on scene assessing air quality, Lora said. As of 3:30 a.m., the air quality levels were deemed acceptable, and evacuations were not needed, he said.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted about the fire, echoing calls for people who live near it to keep their windows closed.

“We urge everyone in Passaic to stay safe as firefighters battle a large eight-alarm fire at a chemical plant off of Route 21,” Murphy wrote. “Praying for the safety of our first responders on the scene.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

News

US draws down Ukraine embassy presence as war fears mount

Published

on

us-draws-down-ukraine-embassy-presence-as-war-fears-mount

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department on Sunday ordered the families of all American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to leave the country amid heightened fears of a Russian invasion.

The department told the dependents of staffers at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv that they must leave the country. It also said that non-essential embassy staff could leave Ukraine at government expense.

The move came amid rising tensions about Russia’s military buildup on the Ukraine border that were not eased during talks Friday between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva.

State Department officials stressed the Kyiv embassy will remain open and that the announcement does not constitute an evacuation. The move had been under consideration for some time and does not reflect an easing of U.S. support for Ukraine, the officials said.

In a statement, the State Department noted recent reports that Russia was planning significant military action against Ukraine. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry has accused NATO countries of escalating tensions around Ukraine with disinformation.

The State Department added: “The security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice. Demonstrations, which have turned violent at times, regularly occur throughout Ukraine, including in Kyiv.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox

Continue Reading

News

Miami-bound Crystal Symphony changes course, docks in Bimini after US judge orders seizure

Published

on

miami-bound-crystal-symphony-changes-course,-docks-in-bimini-after-us-judge-orders-seizure

MIAMI (AP) — A cruise ship that was supposed to dock in Miami has instead sailed to the Bahamas, after a U.S. judge granted an order to seize the vessel as part of a lawsuit over millions of dollars in unpaid fuel.

Cruise trackers show Crystal Symphony currently docked in the Bahamian island of Bimini.

Passengers were taken by ferry to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday.

“We all feel we were abducted by luxurious pirates!” passenger Stephen Heard Fales posted on Facebook.

It was unclear how many passengers were aboard, with one news outlet reporting 300 and another, 700. According to the company website, the vessel can carry up to 848 passengers.

The ship was scheduled to arrive in Miami on Saturday. But a federal judge in Miami issued an arrest warrant for the ship Thursday, a maritime practice where a U.S. Marshal goes aboard a vessel and takes charge of it once it enters U.S. waters.

Passengers and entertainers said on social media they were surprised to find out about the legal case. One guest posted a letter on Facebook from Crystal Cruises Management that said the change in itinerary was due to “non-technical operational issues.”

The lawsuit was filed in a Miami federal court by Peninsula Petroleum Far East against the ship under a maritime procedure that allows actions against vessels for unpaid debts. The complaint says Crystal Symphony was chartered or managed by Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises, which are both sued for breach of contract for allegedly owing $4.6 million in fuel.

Crystal Cruises announced earlier this week that it was suspending operations through late April. Besides Crystal Symphony, it has two other ships currently cruising, which end their voyages on Jan. 30 in Aruba and on Feb. 4 in Argentina.

“Suspending operations will provide Crystal’s management team with an opportunity to evaluate the current state of business and examine various options moving forward,” the company said in a statement earlier this week.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox

Continue Reading

News

Federal Government’s N95 Masks Distribution Starts Monday

Published

on

federal-government’s-n95-masks-distribution-starts-monday

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Starting Monday, courtesy of the federal government, you’ll be able to get your hands on an N95 mask for free.

The Biden administration announced a week ago that 400 million masks were being shipped to pharmacies and community health centers nationwide.

READ MORE: Mark Rosenberg Acknowledges He Resigned As FIU President Because ‘I Caused Discomfort For A Valued Employee’

Americans can get up to three N95s free of charge. However, only adult-sized N95s are expected be available when the distribution begins.

The expectation is that most pharmacies that are part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 vaccines will participate in the mask distribution.

In Florida, this would mean:

  • CVS Health
  • Walgreens
  • Publix
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Fresco y Más
  • Harveys Supermarket
  • Walmart
  • Sam’s Club
  • Costco
  • Kroger

READ MORE: Mural Honoring Gloria & Emilio Estefan Unveiled In Little Havana

CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald was able to confirm Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más and Harveys Supermarket pharmacies are participating. Walgreens and CVS told the Miami Herald they plan to have free N95s in the coming weeks.

As for a participating community health center, the Health Resources and Services Administration has created an online locator tool.

The Florida Association of Community Health Centers also has it’s own locator website.

Kenneth Ray swears by the N95 masks after working in the mechanical insulation field and being exposed to asbestos and other toxins.

MORE NEWS: Doctors Working To Get Out Word On How Americans Can Protect Themselves Against Diabetes

“Whatever we can do to control the spread, it’s good for everyone,” he said.

CBSMiami.com Team

Continue Reading

Trending