Three workers died and five were injured on Wednesday following an explosion at a chemical plant in Jacksonville, Florida.

The explosion sent thick and dense plume of smoke over the area forcing the officials to order an evacuation of nearby businesses but the order was lifted at 4 p.m. after tests of the air found no toxicity.

At least 14 people were admitted to Shands hospital in Jacksonville.

The blast is alleged to have occurred at the T2 Lab on Faye Road in an industrial area on the waterfront in north Jacksonville.

Police responded by sealing off the area near Faye Road, closing off highway exits to the site.

The power generating plant near the chemical plant was forced to close and most of its nonessential employees were evacuated from the building.