Major chemical spill in Atchison sends multiple people to hospital

Patient being taken care of by EMS following a chemical spill on October 21, 2016 in Atchison, Kansas (KSNT News Photo/Jared Thompson)
Patient being taken care of by EMS following a chemical spill on October 21, 2016 in Atchison, Kansas (KSNT News Photo/Jared Thompson)

 

ATCHISON, Kan. (KSNT) – Emergency crews were on the scene Friday morning of a major chemical spill in Atchison, Kansas.

The Kansas Department of Emergency Management said the cloud occurred when sulfuric acid and hydrochlorite were mistakenly combined at the MGP Ingredients plant.

Eight-five people sought care at the hospital’s emergency room for upper respiratory discomfort. One person remained in intensive care Friday afternoon. Sixty-seven of the 85 affected were taken to the hospital in Atchison. The other 18 were taken to a hospital in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

City Manager of Topeka, Trey Cocking said a delivery was placed into the wrong container which created the chlorine like smell and heavy fog.

Atchison Hospital officials say if you are experiencing minor symptoms if gas exposure, such as a sore throat, minor headache, and nasal congestion, take Benadryl, take a shower, and stay in a cool place. If you are experiencing symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, or other severe symptoms, seek medical attention.

The Kansas Department of Transportation reports K-7, U.S. 73 and U.S. 59 Highways in Atchison County are back open now that the spill cloud is breaking up.

City of Atchison officials reported at 11:10 a.m. that it was safe for people to go outside.

The Atchison Fire Department says as people return back to their homes and/or businesses to please use caution. If you notice a strong bleach odor or visible fog, call 911 so that the fire department can assist with ventilating.

The Atchison County Courthouse and Benedictine College were evacuated.

The St. Joseph News Press reports that one school was evacuated and several canceled classes or kept students and staff inside.

Atchison County Emergency Management reports as of 10:50 a.m. the city is back open to traffic.

MGP produces premium distilled spirits, wheat proteins and starches. The company’s website says the plant employs about 300 people.

Around 11,000 people live in Atchison.

KSNT News has a crew on the scene and will update as additional information becomes available.

The Associated Press contributed to this story 

Photo Courtesy: Marie Mullins
Photo Courtesy: Marie Mullins

 

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