Chemical Leak at Kensington Warehouse Prompts Block Closure

A chemical leak inside a warehouse in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood Thursday night prompted the closure of a block and investigation by hazmat crews and police.

The Philadelphia Fire Department responded to a call of leaking chemicals at the facility at G and E. Venango streets around 7 p.m.

The chemical was identified as Divinylbenzene, an aromatic chemical used in plastic production.

A acrid odor similar to the smell of fuel hung in the air near the building into Friday morning.

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said the substance was leeching out of a large tank inside the building. He said there are concerns that the substance could catch fire and cause the tank to explode. Small said it could take up to three days to secure the leak. [[391368511, C]]

The 3600 block of G Street was shut down as a precaution. A shelter-in-place was initially issued for the area, but was lifted around 9:30 p.m.

Philadelphia Emergency Management Director Samantha Phillips tweeted that residents should take the order seriously. "Avoid the area until further notice. Potentially dangerous situation," she wrote in a tweet.

The warehouse is located among a number of industrial buildings, but there are a few row homes and a day care nearby. People could be seen going in and out of buildings int he area as crews continued to work at the warehouse Friday morning.

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