WARREN (WWJ) – Workers were evacuated from the General Motors Technical Center in Warren due to a HAZMAT situation at the massive auto plant.
According to police, the evacuation was ordered around 4 a.m. Friday after the plant’s ammonia alert system activated, indicating a gas leak.
Warren police and fire responded to the scene and determined there was a substantial ammonia vapor leak in the “Wind Tunnel” facility.
“The actual containment of this spill looks to be in the middle of the complex,” WWJ’s Bill Szumanski reported from above the scene in Chopper 950. “There are a lot of police, fire, other emergency vehicles now gathering in one of the parking lots, and they’re starting to pull some of the hoses out of the back of one of the fire trucks.”
According to police, the facility has a state of the art ventilation system that is operating to correct the situation, however the plant would continue to be shut off to employees until the source of the leak can be identified and stopped.
The city of Warren issues a news release stating that there was no threat to the surrounding area.
The grounds were largely empty anyway, because so many plant workers took the day off for Good Friday. Those who did show up for their shifts were asked to wait off the company property until the situation is resolved — including plant worker Eddie Chaaban.
“They had an ammonia spill, and they’re getting it under control,” Chaaban told WWJ’s Mike Campbell, later Friday morning. “They use (the ammonia) for a lot of testing in research laboratories in there.”
“It’s a precautionary measure. They get everybody out so that they don’t have exposure,” he added.
No injuries were reported.
The GM Tech Center covers about four square miles, from Van Dyke Avenue to Mound Road and from 12 Mile Road to 13 Mile Road.