About a dozen workers at a West Plains aerospace plant that manufactures aircraft brakes were forced to evacuate Monday afternoon after sensors detected a poisonous gas leak.
The hydrogen cyanide leak was first reported at about 10:45 a.m. in the UTC Aerospace Systems’ furnace building at 11135 W. Westbow Road, between Interstate 90 and the Fairways Golf Course.
Alexander Killeffer, a UTC spokesperson, confirmed in an email statement that the area where the leak originated was cleared and no one was hurt.
“The authorities were notified and the building has been evacuated as safety teams work to confirm that the area is safe for employees to return to,” Killeffer wrote. “The cause of the incident is under investigation.”
Cody Rohrbach, fire chief of Spokane County Fire District 3, said multiple HAZMAT crews from the Spokane Fire Department were on scene within minutes, but elected not to immediately enter the building. They entered hours later and determined the leak was stopped. None of the gas entered into the atmosphere, he said.