Ford halts Flat Rock Assembly after spill, will aid residents

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Ford Motor Co. continues issuing apologies for a fuel leak that appears to have come from the company’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant, but the automaker says that is not enough and willmake things right with families whose lives have been disrupted. 

The company has decided to halt Mustang production at the plant this week, and is helpinglocal residents who voluntarily have evacuated the area, including Ford employees, T.R. Reid, Ford spokesman, told the Free Press.

“We’re not going to prioritize building vehicles this week,” he said. “There are higher priorities right now.”

A worker told the Free Press late Monday he received a robocall on Labor Day with the alert saying hourly workers would return Monday.  

Opened manhole along Olmstead Road in Flat Rock on Sept. 3, 2021.

After an initial investigation determined that a fuel spill at the plant leaked benzene-containing vapors into the sanitary sewer systems last week, states of emergency were announced for both Wayne and Monroe counties. Benzene is a highly flammable, colorless chemical.

Safety concerns led to an emergency evacuation recommendation from city and state officials that left some residents confused.

‘Pretty significant’ demands

The Dearborn automaker is addressing the underlying issue that led to the gas leak identified by the company Wednesday and reported to state health officials, Reid said. In addition, “the demands of the neighbors are pretty significant. We’re planning a pretty deliberate and committed role in addressing those needs,” he said.





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