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Tip leads to discovery of about 200 chemical barrels behind Detroit’s Russell Industrial Center

Barrels labeled with name of Canadian company

DETROIT – A tip led to the discovery Friday of about 200 chemical barrels stored behind the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit.

As investigations surrounding contamination continue across several counties after a toxic chemical was found in Madison Heights, people are on high alert. The building is not owned by Gary Sayers, the businessman at the center of the investigation, but crews are still examining the barrels.

MORE: Discovery of substance on I-696 leads to multi-county contamination investigation

The tipster reported about 50 barrels, but there were far more than that at Russell, on the edge of the property, and many are full with a brown substance.

Some of the barrels are labeled “Canada Packers -- Chemical Division." Canada Packers is a Toronto-based company that became Maple Leaf Foods in 1995.

The manager at Russell said they didn’t know about the barrels. They said the barrels were were inherited they bought the building, and the barrels may have been there as long as 15 years.

Detroit fire crews took samples from the barrels.

Back in Madison Heights, test results returned Friday showed high PFAS levels that were a result of contamination at Electro-Plating Services.


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