Emergency declared at Hanford nuclear site in Washington state

iStock/Thinkstock(HANFORD, Wash.) -- An emergency was declared Tuesday morning at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state after a tunnel was breached, according to Hanford government officials.

The U.S. Department of Energy Richland Operations Office activated the Hanford Emergency Operations Center at 8:26 a.m. Tuesday, according to the alert. The tunnel is next to a plutonium uranium extraction facility.

"This is a serious situation, and ensuring the safety of the workers and the community is the top priority," said Washington Governor Jay Inslee in a statement.

He confirmed that the site went into immediate lockdown after the alert and workers were told to seek shelter.

Inslee said that federal, state and local officials are working together on this incident and that his office is in close communication with the Department of Energy's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Hanford Fire Department is at the scene now. There are no reports of injuries and all employees have been accounted for.

A shelter-in-place order remains in effect and radiological surveys are being conducted to ensure there is no danger.

So far, there are no reports of any release of materials into the air, and no action is required for residents of the surrounding Benton and Franklin Counties.

This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.

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