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The State

March 20, 1986

Tension eased in the San Joaquin County communities of Lathrop and Manteca as workers at the J. R. Simplot Co. fertilizer plant continued to empty a large tank leaking a deadly chemical fertilizer. "The critical period passed," said a spokesman for the county Office of Emergency Services. "The tank containing the anhydrous ammonia is still leaking at a rate of about a gallon a minute, but enough has been drained off to ease the pressure and we no longer fear the tank will rupture." When the leak was discovered Tuesday, workers were ordered out of the plant, and county officials put several thousand residents on standby to be ready to evacuate the area.

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