State officials recommend more evacuations after fuel leak

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FLAT ROCK, Mich. (AP) — State officials recommended more home evacuations Sunday in a Detroit suburb following an earlier fuel leak at the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant that spread flammable vapor in sewers.

Response teams were set to go door-to-door Sunday to inform affected areas in Flat Rock, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Wayne County.

State officials said residents in the area bordered by Interstate 75 to the east, Gibraltar Road to the north, Cahill Road to the west and Woodruff Road to the south evacuate. Additionally, state officials said there’s a broader area of Flat Rock under investigation for potential exposure to benzene vapor.

“We don’t believe there is any imminent danger to residents at this time,” Elizabeth Hertel, the health department’s director, said at a news conference Sunday. She said officials were still asking people in the impacted areas to leave “out of an abundance of caution.”

State officials on Friday confirmed that the source of benzene vapor was a fuel leak at the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said an estimated 1,000 to 3,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline spilled into the sewers.

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