Treatment Plant Chemical Spill Hospitalizes 55 People

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A chemical spill at a Birmingham (Alabama) Water Works water treatment facility recently hospitalized 55 people.

According to the company, the accidental mixing of hypochlorite and ferric sulfate created hazardous chlorine gas.

Company officials originally stated that 14 contractors and a single company employee had been hospitalized after the spill, but the number of those who were in close enough contact with the chlorine gas to justify precautionary hospitalization grew by more than 40 people as time went on. “None have sustained any life-threatening injuries,” Birmingham Water Works reported in a news release.

Meanwhile, police advised those living near the Shades Mountain Filter Plant to take shelter while a highway near the plant was closed to traffic. 

Chlorine gas exposure can cause nose and throat irritation, nausea, vomiting and headache. It can also cause skin and eye irritation or chemical burns.

Birmingham Water Works reported to the public in a statement that the water supply was not contaminated and that the chemicals were contained within the building where the mixing happened. 



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