Weather Updates

Formaldehyde release at Elgin plant sends workers to hospitals

Updated: October 3, 2013 6:21AM

ELGIN — Nine workers at a west side factory were transported to area hospitals Saturday following a release of formaldehyde gas inside the facility, authorities reported.

The Elgin Fire Department said in a statement issued Sunday morning that firefighters were called out at 10:07 a.m. Saturday to a reported chemical spill at Capsonic Corporation, 460 Second St., with one injured victim.

Firefighters were told that an injection molding machine had been overheated and instead of melting chemical pellets it caused the pellets to burn, releasing formaldehyde gas inside the facility.

Upon investigation by the South Elgin Fire Protection District Haz-Mat Team, it was determined there was no spill, and that the gas release was the only hazard and was mitigated through ventilation of the plant, firefighters said.

During the investigation and mitigation of the gas release, numerous plant personnel requested assessment by paramedics, the statement said. A total of 12 patients were evaluated, with nine of them being transported to three area hospitals. This necessitated a mutual aid request for ambulances which brought in four neighboring fire departments.

Conditions reports were not available on those transported, although there was no indication in the statement that the injuries were life-threatening.

Once the facility was ventilated and determined to by safe, the plant was turned over to the owners and all fire units cleared the scene, the statement said.

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