Up to 23 people are being transported to St. Catharines Hospital following a dangerous workplace incident on Tuesday, Niagara Health confirms.
St. Catharines Fire Chief Dave Upper told CTV News Toronto that a contractor was working and accidentally hit a valve, which released five liters of hydrochloric acid.
Upper says the acid turned to vapor and three people were nearby. They managed to close the valve, but were exposed to fumes, he said.
Officials at the scene said about 20 other people were exposed and decontamination showers were used. Most of them were taken to hospital by bus.
Upper said the acid exposure was more minor and the other 20 people were taken to hospital as a precaution.
« The chemical typically causes respiratory and skin burns if you’re heavily exposed, » he said. « We don’t think they had that high saturation. »
“We ask the community to please avoid the emergency department at the St. Catharines site and only visit if you have a life-threatening or critical emergency,” reads a press release from Niagara Health.
The health body advises residents to visit the following emergency departments and urgent care centers if they need health care options:
- Niagara Falls Site Emergency Department
- Welland Site Emergency Department
- Fort Erie Urgent Care Center
- Port Colborne Urgent Care Center
This is a developing story. More soon.