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Reaction sends chemical cloud into air above homes

The Associated Press
Monday September 11, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO — Residents east of an industrial plant in the Pittsburg area were asked to stay in their homes with the windows and doors closed for more than two hours Saturday morning, because of a yellow cloud sent into the air after a chemical reaction. No one was injured. 

According to the Contra Costa County hazardous materials director Lewis Pascalli, the cloud was not the result of an explosion but an “exothermic reaction” that made the contents of a 55-gallon drum expand rapidly. 

The chemicals were stored at the Dexter Hysol Plant, which Pascalli said makes an adhesive used to secure the external tiles on the space shuttle. 

The chemical involved in the incident was an epoxy resin that was in a partially filled drum of chemicals to be thrown away.