Workers hospitalized after chemical accident at plant - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Workers hospitalized after chemical accident at plant

REBECCA, GA (WALB) -

The Turner County Fire Department says employees were taken to a hospital after a chemical accident at a vegetable plant near Rebecca.

As of Thursday morning, Tift Regional Hospital says only one patient has been admitted and is in good condition. All the others have been sent home.

According to EMA Director Robby Royal, an employee was putting acid reducer into a bucket, unaware that it was partially filled with chlorine.

He said employees began to feel sick.

"Employees actually got nauseous, starting throwing up," Royal said. "It's kind of like a chain reaction, folks see that they start getting scared."

Turner County Fire Department Haz-mat was called to the scene.

Joy Davis with Community and Outreach at Tift Regional Medical Center says 19 patients were decontaminated and are in good condition.

The hospital brought in their emergency response team to handle the case, something they had trained for last year.

She said the exposure to chlorine gas was in an enclosed area and there is not threat to the surrounding community.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, chlorine is a highly reactive gas element.

Chlorine is generally found only in industrial settings. Chlorine enters the body breathed in with contaminated air or when consumed with contaminated food or water.

Breathing chlorine adversely affects the human respiratory system. Effects range from coughing and chest pain to water retention in the lungs. Chlorine irritates the skin, the eyes, and the respiratory system.

High levels of chlorine may produce mild mucous membrane irritation, chest pain, vomiting, cough, toxic pneumonitis, and pulmonary edema.

 


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