UPDATE: Chemical explosion in Dalton; residents should stay indo - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: One worker transported to burn center after Dalton chemical plant reaction

Posted: Updated:
MFG Chemical, Inc. in Dalton, GA. MFG Chemical, Inc. in Dalton, GA.
UPDATE: Chattanooga Police tell Channel 3 that the victim who was injured in Monday morning’s chemical accident was transported by air to Augusta GA's burn center.  

However he was transported by ground to the Wellstar Cobb County hospital.  


PREVIOUS STORY: Dalton Police have lifted their "shelter in place" advisory after this morning's chemical reaction at the MFG Chemical facility in Dalton. Nearby roads have been re-opened.

Dalton Police and Dalton Fire responded to a chemical reaction that happened about 6:00am at the MFG Chemical plant on Kimberly Park Drive.

Originally the incident was dispatched as an explosion, but as more information was gathered by the Dalton Police and Fire Departments, it was re-classified as a 'reaction."

According to Dalton Fire Department, workers were dumping chemicals into a reactor. One worker did not close lid fast enough, and the ensuing reaction injured two people. The chemical reaction was from Malaic Anhydride Long Chain Alcohol.

"Organic peroxide was the last chemical to be put in," explained Fire Chief Bruce Satterfield. "It's stated that the worker did not get the lid closed fast enough. When the peroxide is being put in, it's going to react to the other chemicals. But at that point, I don't think he got it closed soon enough therefore the reaction sort of came out and unfortunately his head and face was still near the reactor."

Dalton Fire Department tells Channel 3 there were two people injured. One is "severe" with burns and inhalation injuries. One person is being flown to a burn unit in Augusta, GA.

Bruce Frazier, Public Relations Specialist for the Dalton Police Department advises that the chemical is not poisonous but is an irritant.

It can be smelled on Highway 41 nearby, but that roadway is not shut down.  

Willowdale Road, Kimberly Park Drive, and Crow Valley Road  were all closed, but have now been re-opened.

"The wind was very calm today which was a good thing. It didn't spread the chemical over a very wide area," Frazier said.

"We have so much manufacturing in this community where things can go wrong and we have rail lines in town that transport hazardous chemicals so there's a lot of stuff that we need to be prepared for."

Channel 3 reached out to MFG Chemical for comment but have not heard back.

BACKGROUND: In April of 2004, MFG Chemical had a runaway chemical reaction and toxic vapor cloud release.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board report on the incident, released in 2006, said that inadequate emergency planning by the facility, city, and county contributed to the severity of the event.

The 2004 reaction and release forced more than 200 families to evacuate from their homes and 154 people were decontaminated and treated for chemical exposure at local hospitals after toxic allyl alcohol and allyl chloride were released from a reactor at the MFG facility.

"That incident really showed us where some of our policies and procedures were lacking so we were able to get everything in line so that for an event like today, we were much more ready to respond," Frazier said.

In 2012, MFG Chemical workers were mixing 8,000 pounds of the compound known as Coaglant 129, used in water treatment, when the reactor overheated and some of the liquid spewed through the roof.

Metal parts from the roof smashed into a next-door plant and liquid sprayed trucks, buildings and a nearby parking lot.

More than 40 people who worked in the industrial park around the plant were taken to the hospital and treated for possible symptoms, which included irritated skin and respiratory problems, according to our news partners at the Times Free Press.

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