Toxic Chemicals Released at Belle Glade Plant - 9 Hospitalized

Toxic Chemicals Released at Belle Glade Plant – 9 Hospitalized

On Wednesday, at least nine people were taken to the hospital after a chemical accident at a Belle Glade produces a plant.

A Palm Beach County Fire Rescue spokesman said that crews went to Pioneer Growers in the 200 block of Northwest Avenue L just after 8 a.m. because of “possible chemical and dangerous conditions.”

“As soon as the workers got to work, they saw a big white cloud coming from the back of the plant,” said Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Capt. Tom Reyes. “It was in the air, and the wind was blowing it south and west.”

Fire and rescue workers quickly got everyone out of the plant, and the nearby Belle Glade Elementary School and Lake Shore Middle School were put on lockdown as a safety measure.

Reyes said that the chemical was chlorine dioxide, which is used in the facility’s chilling system for storing vegetables.

“Chlorine dioxide by itself is not a very poisonous or dangerous substance,” Reyes said, but he added that it can irritate your lungs.

By 8:22 a.m., firefighters and rescue workers had stopped the leak, and the white fog had begun to go away.

Toxic Chemicals Released at Belle Glade Plant - 9 Hospitalized

Reyes said that workers set up a triage center to check on people and started a “mass casualty response” as a safety measure.

Reyes said, “What we did was set up a triage area for anyone who wants to be checked out.” “Twenty to twenty-five people came in and asked to be checked out.

We say, “Okay, let’s get all the resources we have here and let the hospitals in the area know what’s going on.” This is what a “mass casualty response” means. It doesn’t always mean that a lot of people have died.”

Twenty-one employees who were feeling sick were checked out by paramedics at the scene, and nine of them were taken to a nearby hospital. Reyes said that they don’t know yet how much chlorine dioxide they were exposed to.

Preston Trammell told WPTV that he was at the facility for a job interview when he saw the white fog coming out of the building.

Trammell said, “It looked like a puff of cloud, like a cumulus cloud, but it was a low cumulus cloud.” Trammell said that he saw workers crowding the sidewalks around the building, not sure if they should leave or stay.

Trammell said, “Police cars had everything blocked off, and they were moving people to the side for their safety and to make sure everything was good and OK.” “From what I could tell, I think they did a good job.”

Toxic Chemicals Released at Belle Glade Plant - 9 Hospitalized

Trammell said that he was glad that the situation was taken care of so quickly and that he was not scared by what happened. Trammell said that since he was born and raised in Belle Glade, chemical accidents are just a normal part of the business he’s proud to have grown up in.

“I’m proud of my little city,” Trammell said over and over. “We’re really good at farming, especially when it comes to farming.”

Trammell said he still plans to come back to Pioneer Growers the next day for the job interview and hopes he gets the job.

“They were the first ones to do this,” Trammell said.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said that tests of the air near the plant and nearby schools showed that the chemical wasn’t there.

Pioneer Growers has called the company that fixes the chilling system, and that company will come to the plant to make any last repairs.

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Happy Purwal is a news writer with one year of experience. He is skilled in researching and writing engaging news articles. His expertise includes covering current events, politics, and human interest stories. He is passionate about delivering accurate and unbiased news to his readers.