TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - A lot of people live a stone's throw from the town of Tonawanda's industrial corridor. Many residents are breathing a sigh of relief, but the cloud of concern is still hovering over their neighborhood.
The explosion took everyone by surprise who lives in the area. And then, of course, the initial concern about what might be in the air. Dennis Russell was among his neighbors who quickly left their mobile homes on Sawyer Avenue to see what had just shaken the neighborhood.
"What was that bang? My trailer moved, and it sounded like someone just grabbed the trailer and boom," said Russell.
Susan Brent said, "It just felt like the earth rumbled a little bit. It was a little frightening."
The mobile home park sits near a handful of plants including FMC, Tonawanda Coke, and Dupont. The residents at the mobile home park knew they weren't in imminent danger when they noticed the smoke on the FMC stack was blowing the other way.
Russell said, "Thank God to us the winds going the wrong way, 'cause otherwise we'd have it like we got Tonawanda Coke. We got enough chemicals here."
"Dennis did reassure us all that because the smoke on the one stack is going the other way, that anything that did happen is blowing away from our neighborhood, not into our neighborhood," said Brent.
As it turned out, there was no need for concern about hazardous vapors. The warning to stay inside was just a precaution as investigators sought to find out just what had happened. That information was slow in coming. As you might imagine, people with breathing problems were especially concerned.
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