Chemical leak prompts evacuation

WICHITA — A chemical leak this morning prompted the evacuation of a business and the closing of surrounding streets in north Wichita.

The leak was reported at Millenia Products, 3201 N. Mead, at 8:52 a.m., a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor said. Employees reporting to work reported smelling a foul odor, and firefighters sent to investigate found methyl methacrylate leaking from storage crates.

Methyl methacrylate is used in the manufacture of resins and plastics.

Millenia was evacuated and nearby intersections blocked as a safety precaution, authorities said. Normal traffic resumed a little more than two hours later.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury when he slipped on the leaking chemical and fell in the darkened warehouse. He was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

Authorities blamed the leak on the heat, because the chemical expands as temperatures rise.