Kearny's chemical fire: the Pulaski Skyway remains closed, but the air quality seems to be O.K.



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The Pulaski Skyway remains shut down following a fire caused by 4 alarms at a chemical plant in Kearny early Saturday morning, but local authorities said the tests had not revealed any threat to the quality from the air.

The fire broke out in a building in Alden Leeds, a company that manufactures and stores chlorine tablets for use in swimming pools, which has caused additional concern because of the toxicity of this compound. Firefighters mastered the fire on Saturday morning, but concerns over air quality and safety persisted, prompting officials in Bayonne and Kearny to urge residents to keep their windows shut.

However, tests conducted in the region have revealed no significant air quality problems, according to local authorities, and there is currently no warning in effect. Nevertheless, emergency officials urged residents to penetrate inside if they smelled smoke or chemicals.

The state's environmental protection department issued a statement saying that the air quality had improved after potentially irritating residents overnight.

"The air monitoring measurements taken on Saturday morning indicate that levels of chlorine and other air pollutants related to the fire are below dangerous levels; Chlorine levels during the night of Friday could have caused irritation of the nose and throat, "the statement said. "Odors can still be detectable in some areas. Air monitoring will continue until the end of the emergency response operations at the site. "

The Pulaski Skyway, the Hackensack River Bridge and several roads in and around Kearny remained closed at 5 pm and delays of several miles were felt on the state's major communication routes to New York. Neither the Ministry of Transport nor local officials had an immediate estimate of their reopening.

The mayor of Jersey City, Steven Fulop, and other local government officials said they were working with the state's Department of Environmental Protection, which was keeping a close eye on the quality of the air in the area. The state's monitoring website indicates that air quality remains "good" in all areas of northeastern New Jersey, including several kilometers from the scene of the fire.

This is a current story, check again on NJ.com for updates.

Stephen Stirling can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ stirling. Find him on Facebook.

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