Lubbock chemical leak sends dozens from homes

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - A chemical leak at an agricultural company in West Texas has forced about 100 families from their homes but nobody has been hurt.

Lubbock police say the evacuation continues Thursday in a zone extending several blocks.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused Wednesday night's leak at Bayer CropScience near Interstate 27. Company employees noticed a leak from an apparent faulty valve on a tank.

The Lubbock Fire Department says the leak involves hydrogen chloride that when released forms hydrochloric acid.

Bayer CropScience spokesman Monty Christian says the chemical used to get fiber off cotton seed is not explosive but can be corrosive to skin and lungs.

Christian says the leaking cylinder is from another company that will provide hazmat experts. The name of that other company wasn't immediately released.

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