Monday, August 22, 2011

43 sent to hospital after chlorine dioxide leak in Woodland, California - 21st Aug 2011

Forty-three employees of a Woodland tomato processing plant were treated for respiratory issues after a chlorine dioxide leak Sunday afternoon, the Woodland Fire Department said.

Battalion Chief Greg Robinson, the incident commander, said 21 of Pacific Coast Producers' employees were take by bus to Woodland Memorial Hospital. He called them "the walking wounded." Another 22 employees were sent to various hospitals in the region.

Robinson said two employees were "immediate patients" and required extra attention, however, he didn't expect any of the employees to have life-threatening issues.

The plant, located at 1376 Lemen Ave., uses chlorine dioxide to keep water clean, and there was an over-injection, Robinson said.

The battalion chief said WFD's engines 1 and 3 responded, as well as 12 ambulances. Robinson said an MCI (mass casualty incident) was declared, but the leak had been contained.

"There's no risk to people outside the building, it got shut off real quick," he said.

Woodland Police Department said it first became aware of the situation around 12:15 p.m.

Department of Environmental Health officials were sent to the scene to investigate, Robinson said. Source