Chemical Fumes Send A Coca-Cola Plant Employee to the Hospital

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Chattanooga, Tenn. (WDEF) – According to the Chattanooga Fire Department, the victim was flown to Vanderbilt Hospital for treatment.


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Chattanooga, Tenn. (WDEF) – A chemical spill at the Coca-Cola plant on Amnicola Highway sent one man to the hospital with serious injuries this morning.

A quick response by Hazmat and Firefighters contained the spill, which presented no danger to nearby businesses.

Chattanooga first responders wasted no time…or manpower when the call went out around 10:40 that there had been an explosion at the Coca-Cola bottling plant on Amnicola highway. A cloud of chemical vapor hovered over a parking area…and 30 employees who were in the plant were quickly evacuated.

Bruce Garner  with the Chattanooga Fire Department says,  “Some workers were mixing chemicals involving chlorine dioxide. Something happened during that process, and the material spewed out from the container onto one of the employees who was injured in the process.”

That employee was rushed to the hospital by EMS within minutes of the incident.

“That one employee here was contaminated by that product..he was injured and he was transported by emergency to Erlanger Medical Center,” says Garner

Garner says there was about 250 gallons of chlorine dioxide in the container, called a tote. That’s a large plastic bin wrapped with steel rods.

“Hazmat technicians are telling me that the leak of this chlorine dioxide has been contained on site. It represents no threat to the surrounding public,” says Garner

Firefighters kept a stream of water on the chemical spill, while they determined the best way to clean it up.

Investigators were not sure what cause the vapor leak.

Chlorine dioxide is used to sanitize water at the plant. It can be toxic if it comes in contact with the skin.

At last report the unidentified worker who was injured was in serious condition.

There were only 30 employees at the Coca Cola plant this morning, which simplified the evacuation.

Normally more than 200 people are in the building.

Marion Environmental was called to claim the rest of the Chlorite substance and secure the area.

 

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