Workers hospitalized after chemical leak at DuPont Facility

April 29, 2015

Twenty employees and two firefighters were taken to local hospitals as a precaution on Monday after heating fluid leaked at a DuPont plant in Virginia.

Twenty employees and two firefighters were taken to local hospitals as a precaution on Monday after heating fluid leaked at a DuPont plant in Virginia.

More than 100 workers at DuPont's Richmond Zytel plant in Chesterfield were evacuated following an accidental vapor release of Dowtherm, a heat transfer fluid produced by Dow Chemical Company. There was no fire, but Richmond and Chesterfield County fire crews were called to the plant to deal with the incident. Together with DuPont emergency responders, they used water to dissipate and contain the vapor release to the site.

Chesterfield Fire & EMS Lt. Jason Elmore told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the leak was successfully contained and there was "no danger or need for emergency community evacuation".

Elmore said that the leak occurred as maintenance work was being done on one of the manufacturing lines. Firefighters were on standby because the substance can be flammable, he told the local newspaper.

The DuPont workers and firefighters who were taken to off-site medical facilities for precautionary monitoring and have since been released. Twelve other employees were treated at the scene, but did not require hospitalization. There were no reported injuries.

In a statement released on Monday, DuPont said that the cause of the release was under review.

Zytel, the product manufactured at the plant, is a nylon resin with applications in industries including automotive and consumer electronics.

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