Residents Urged to Stay Indoors After N.J. Chlorine Leak

A leaking chlorine tank sent a plume of potentially hazardous vapor into the air Friday morning, and officials were telling residents to stay indoors and roll up their windows.

The Pulaski Skyway (search) was shut down and people in the area with respiratory problems were warned to stay indoors. People in cars were told to roll up their windows and shut off their air conditioning.

Jack Burns, coordinator for Hudson County (search) emergency management, said a 2,000-gallon tank of chlorine at a pool supply plant in Kearny started leaking and the plume of vapor was blowing toward Jersey City.

"From what I hear it's pretty extensive," Burns said. Hazmat teams were on the scene.

Businesses in the area, which mostly are trucking companies, were evacuated, as was Lincoln Park (search).

Burns said it was not immediately clear whether the chlorine tank was damaged from a fire or from "accidental contact."

Jersey City police Sgt. Edgar Martinez said the cloud could cause burning of the eyes and problems for people with pre-existing breathing difficulties.

"We want to make sure the citizens are safe who have breathing problems," he said. "We're asking people to avoid the Skyway for now and people in the area are requested to close their windows or, if they're in their cars, turn off the air conditioning and roll up the windows."