Ten Years After

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It’s been exactly 10 years to the day since one of the area's worst disasters happened.

Three area residents were killed just after sunrise on the morning of May 27, 1994, when an explosion rocked a portion of what was then the Shell Chemical Plant.

Belpre’s volunteer firefighters were the first to respond, but quickly knew they needed help.

"Right after I saw the smoke, I asked the dispatcher to issue a code three," said Belpre Fire Chief Wesley Walker, one of the first to respond to the fire. "That would alert fire departments from Washington County and all over Wood County."

There was concern about a chemical release from the plant, but while evacuations of area residents were advised, no evacuations were ever ordered.