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Nucor-Yamato workers treated at hospital

Keywords: Tags  Nucor-Yamato, fire department, Mike Carney, chlorine, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — Several Nucor-Yamato Steel Co. workers were treated at a local hospital after a chlorine-related incident Nov. 17, Blytheville, Ark., fire chief Mike Carney said.

Carney’s department treated about 19 people who had complained about symptoms of exposure.

Nucor Corp., the Charlotte, N.C.-based joint-venture partner in the structural steel producer with Japan’s Yamato Kogyo Co. Ltd., confirmed Nov. 18 that Nucor-Yamato "experienced a release of chlorine dioxide" at 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

"At the current time, everyone has been released from the hospital, except for one individual who remains for observation," Nucor said, adding that it is conducting a review of the incident.

The release of chlorine dioxide, which is used to control bacterial growth in water-treatment systems, was "contained to a single building," Nucor said.

The treated workers also included people employed by outside contractors, who were at the plant in connection with a scheduled maintenance shutdown, Carney said.

Nucor-Yamato continues to operate and the incident resulted in "no environmental impact," Nucor said, adding that all of the equipment involved in the release was taken out of service.

"We were assured at the hospital by Nucor personnel that they had the problem taken care of" and there was "no need for us to go out there," Carney said, adding that further investigation of the incident is likely but won’t be performed by the fire department.

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