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Evacuations at Luzerne County Plant After Hazardous Material Leak

DALLAS -- A paper plant in Luzerne County was evacuated Tuesday morning and crews in hazmat suits are checking out a hazardous materials incident there. Some workers have been taken to the hospital.

We're told 11 employees at Offset Paperback Manufacturers were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Emergency crews were called to Dallas around 7:30 a.m. and about 80 employees at Offset Paperback were evacuated.

"It was very intense because, actually, we had a full-scale evacuation of the plant so we had to evacuate all the employees out of the plant," said Jay Wilkes, Back Mountain Regional Fire & EMS.

Officials say equipment inside the building released the hazardous material, which caused skin irritation for those 11 employees taken to the hospital. That equipment was shut down and all workers were looked at for any exposure

Company officials wouldn't take any questions from reporters but read a statement.

"This odor was isolated and contained to one area of our facility and there is no impact on the local community," said Offset Paperback COO Jack O'Donnell.

The scene in Dallas at the Offset Paperback plant was cleared around noon but company officials said while they tried to figure out what caused the release, they wanted to be extra cautious and let the rest of the 83 employees go home for the rest of the day.

Company officials said they hoped to be back to work Wednesday.

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