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National Agency to Investigate Chlorine Leak at W.Va. Plant

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The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of a chlorine leak at a West Virginia chemical plant that prompted some communities nearby to evacuate and workers to seek medical attention.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the NTSB announced its decision Wednesday to investigate the leak at Axiall Corp.'s chemical plant in Natrium.

Axiall said a rail tanker car loaded with liquid chlorine developed a leak at the chemical facility on Saturday. The resulting cloud forced hundreds from their homes. Five plant workers were treated at an on-site health facility and two other workers were treated at a hospital and later released.

On Saturday, the NTSB also said it would not investigate, but agency spokesman Eric Weiss said Wednesday that unspecified "new information" prompted the agency to change course. He did not elaborate.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

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