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Reported chemical leak prompts Zeeland hospital lockdown

Spectrum Health
Spectrum Health

Officials in western Michigan are investigating a reported chemical leak that prompted a hospital to shut down for about four hours.

MLive.com reports Saturday that Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital went on lockdown Friday night after reports that a small cloud of phosphorus trichloride leaked at nearby chemical manufacturer Vertellus Specialties.

The newspaper says the chemical turns into a toxic gas when it comes in contact with water.

Hospital spokeswoman Sara Donkersloot said the facility reopened about 1 a.m. Saturday.

Zeeland Fire Chief Bill Gruppen said other buildings in an industrial zone within a half-mile of Vertellus Specialties were evacuated.

Vertellus Specialties spokeswoman Susan Miller said in an email late Friday that the company was "working with authorities to resolve the situation."

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