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Thatcher Chemical in Salt Lake City
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Crews Respond To Hazmat Situation After Rail Car Spills Toxic Substance

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Dozens of people were treated for exposure to a hazardous chemical and two people were sent to the hospital for treatment after a sulfur dioxide spill in Salt Lake City.

Crews responded to the hazmat situation Wednesday before 8:40 a.m. at the Thatcher Chemical facility on 1905 Fortune Road, near the Interstate 215 and California Avenue.

Officials from the Salt Lake City Fire Department said a tank full of sulfur dioxide was sitting next to a rail car when it was hit by another rail car, knocking a hose off. The chemical was then sprayed from the hose. When the chemical came into contact with the ground, it became a gas.

Division Chief Ryan Mellor said people in the area began reporting an “odd smell” as well as symptoms. When officials came to investigate, they discovered the product had spilled from the rail car.

Around 300-400 gallons of sulfur dioxide spilled from the tank. The leak was contained shortly afterward.

Officials said 56 people were treated for potential exposure at the scene. Two people were transported to the hospital, and the rest were treated at four separate locations, including at Thatcher Chemical. Their exact conditions are unknown.

All patients were treated and crews and ambulances were demobilized by 10:30 a.m. The remaining crews were released shortly after 1 p.m., according to SLCFD.

Thatcher Chemical produces water treatment chemicals. It works with toxic chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine and sulfur dioxide.

 

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