Tulsa Workers Treated After Exposure To Hazardous Chemical Leak

Friday, June 4th 2010, 11:29 am
By: News On 6


TULSA, OK -- Eight people are being treated or monitored after a chemical leak at a Tulsa trucking company. It happened Friday morning at Old Dominion Freight, 2921 East Dawson Road.

The chemical was identified as chloromethyl naphthalene, a corrosive liquid. It was in a 55-gallon drum in the back of a freight truck. Authorities say a piece of metal rubbed against the drum, causing it to rupture.  A cloud of vapor was then released from the barrel. 

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Authorities contained the leak.  Haz-mat crews then determined the best way to clean the scene of the spill after the last of the patients were transported to Tulsa hospitals.

Workers were sprayed down outside the north Tulsa business.

"The treatment for this before transport is 20 to 30 minutes of basically washed down with soapy water," said Bill French, Tulsa Fire Department.

One worker took a serious hit to the face, authorities at the scene say.

That person was transported to a Tulsa hospital.

Seven other workers went through the decontamination process for superficial exposure.  All were transported to area hospitals for observation and evaluation as a precaution.

"Some of them breathed it in from the dock," said Captain Adam Balogh, Fire Department Haz-Mat.  "Some were actually working on the container."

All are said to be in fair condition and expected to be fine, according to authorities.

Chloromethyl naphthalene is used as a cleaning agent. It can cause respiratory issues and can burn lung tissue.