Showing posts with label Ro-Corp. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ro-Corp. Show all posts

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Chemical exposure prompts lockdown at 2 St. Louis ERs

Chemical prompts lockdown at 2 St. Louis ERs
Authorities '99 percent' certain material behind scare was nitroaniline
Sun., Aug. 31, 2008
ST. LOUIS - Eight people were sickened Saturday after exposure to a chemical at an Illinois plant, and emergency rooms at two hospitals where they were treated were quarantined.

Authorities were "99 percent" certain the chemical was nitroaniline, a highly toxic material that can cause serious breathing problems and even death.

By late evening, it appeared that no patients or staff at the hospitals were contaminated because of their proximity to the victims.

'Got all over them'

The incident began when a barrel was dropped at Ro-Corp. in East St. Louis. Mehlville Fire Chief Jim Silvernail said the lid popped off the barrel spilling a white powder.

"It's like what would happen if you drop flour — it got all over them," he said.

Three men exposed to the powder drove to St. Anthony's Medical Center in south St. Louis County. Three others went to SSM DePaul Health Center in north St. Louis County. Another went to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Silvernail said. It wasn't known where the eighth sought treatment.

All three at DePaul were in fair condition and improving, spokeswoman Jamie Newell said. Details about the conditions of the other five were not immediately known, but Silvernail said at least one at St. Anthony's was "in pretty rough shape."

St. Anthony's and DePaul immediately locked down their emergency rooms.
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