Rubbertown residents sound off after plant explosion - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Rubbertown residents sound off after plant explosion

Eboni Cochran Eboni Cochran
John Gant John Gant
Mayor Greg Fischer Mayor Greg Fischer
Doug Hamilton Doug Hamilton

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A week after a devastating and deadly explosion at a Rubbertown chemical plant neighbors are speaking out. Two people were killed at Carbide Industries and two were hurt. Neighbors complained they were in the dark about what was going on.

Monday night hundreds showed up to give Mayor Greg Fischer an earful. Calling it a lost and forgotten neighborhood, Rubbertown residents praised Mayor Fisher for leaving Metro Hall and going over to west Louisville.

During a public meeting they talked about what happened last Monday night, all the communication problems, and how the city will do better.

There was a moment of silence for two Carbide Industries employees killed just one week ago after a furnace explosion at the plant. The silence was a stark comparison to the scene that played out in Rubbertown after the disaster.

Residents sounded off to Mayor Fischer and other emergency officials about bad communication.

"If I was a resident here experiencing what you did the other night, you have the right to be notified. That notification did not happen," Carbide General Manager John Gant said.

Up until now, chemical plants were responsible for updating the RCALL hotline within 30 minutes of any problems at their plant. Outlining one of several changes, Fischer explained that MetroSafe will now update the line.

"It's not reasonable to think in the middle of a tragedy like this with this fire and explosion that someone is going to call a number and update it in 30 minutes," Fischer said.

City leaders also took responsibility for not getting TV and radio stations good information.

"Now we know from assessing the situation we didn't meet with the media soon enough so we can push that information," Emergency Management Agency Director Doug Hamilton said.

Rubbertown residents want to make sure they continue to be heard.

"You are relying on agencies and departments and chemical plants that have failed us for decades. So what we need you to do is make sure the community is at the table," neighborhood activist Eboni Cochran said.

MetroSafe has already taken over the RCALL hotline. The new notification system with texts and emails should be in place by June or July.

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