The Blount County Sheriff’s Office secured the Newell facility on William Blount Drive as a safety precaution in response to a suspected chemical leak at the plant Friday before noon.

A drum leak at Newell Rubbermaid on William Blount Drive that led to widespread evacuations Friday afternoon is being monitored and is contained inside the building, first responders said in a statement.

According to a release from the Blount County Fire Protection District, a 55-gallon drum of an unidentified chemical developed a small leak.

Newell called in the incident at about 11 a.m. Friday.

“We are monitoring to make sure there are no other issues and the situation is fully contained inside the building,” the statement said.

There were no injuries.

William Blount High School and Mary Blount Elementary School dismissed their students at 1 p.m. Friday out of an abundance of caution over the chemical spill.

A Newell building also was evacuated as a precaution.

“Newell Rubbermaid management and personnel have been outstanding,” BCFD said in the statement.

When reached for comment, Newell Rubbermaid officials asked The Daily Times to refer to the release from the BCFD.

By early afternoon, the situation was stable and firefighters didn’t evacuate anyone outside of the one building.

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