The Nation

More than 3,500 residents of Nitro, W.Va., will be evacuated next week while a cylinder of deadly hydrogen cyanide from a closed chemical plant is destroyed, an official said. Doug Fox, the Environmental Protection Agency's on-scene coordinator at the Artel Chemical Plant, said three specialists from Jet Research Center Inc. of Mansfield, Tex., will remove and destroy the container, believed to contain up to 30 pounds of the chemical, next Sunday. Destruction of the chemical had been set for Sept. 25, but was canceled because of insurance and liability issues. The EPA believes the cyanide compound is becoming unstable and in danger of exploding on its own.

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