UPDATE: Emergency crews have been called to the Athens-based Mills Products Thursday morning. An employee at the facility was transported to a nearby hospital with symptoms similar to those reported Wednesday.  Crews found no issue this morning, despite the sickened employee.

Officials have released the building back to Mills Products.

Seventeen workers were taken to hospitals Wednesday after exposure to an unknown substance.

This response marks the second day in a row that crews went to the facility for reports of workers that were sickened by something at the plant.

Miss Products issued a news release Thursday morning that reads:

Mills Products had to send another employee to the hospital this morning that was feeling ill. We
believe this to be an unrelated sickness from the situation yesterday. As a precautionary measure we
had the Athens Fire Department and Athens Utility Board sweep the plant for natural gas and carbon
monoxide. The plant was determined to have no issues. We have checked all equipment and found no
issues.
All employees transported yesterday to the hospital were released yesterday.


PREVIOUS STORY: Mills Products has been cleared by emergency crews Wednesday afternoon after seventeen workers at Athens-based Mills Products were transported to area hospitals after a leak made them sick Wednesday morning. Twelve of the 17 have been released, according to officials.

No new cases of sick workers have been reported, according to a news release from the company. The facility is been returned to their normal operating schedule.

The source of the leak has not yet been determined, and emergency crews are testing the facility to learn the nature of the leak and possible effects. Officials say they may have ruled out carbon monoxide. The root cause has not yet discovered.

McMinn County Mayor John Gentry described the incident as an "exposure."

Mills Products, Inc. released a statement midday Wednesday about the situation at the plant:

"This morning, as a precautionary measure, Athens Fire Department was called to Mills Products, Inc to check for a possible gas leak at the facility.  At approximately 8:30 am two employees experienced symptoms of ongoing illnesses, and shortly thereafter numerous employees began complaining of nausea and headaches. The Athens Fire Department and Athens Utility Board has been on scene and testing the building multiple times for gas leak and carbon monoxide. No signs of a gas leak or carbon monoxide are present.  Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) have been reviewed for possible exposure or similarities in symptoms, with no common links identified yet.  

All employees have been evacuated, accounted for, and are safe.  All employees experiencing headache and nausea have been transported throughout the morning as a precautionary measure. All employees complaining of symptoms are in the care of medical facilities and are being evaluated. The symptoms are only effecting first shift team members. Second and third shift employees have been contacted as part of Mills Products welfare checks, and no complaints have been stated by those employees.  

In an un-related event earlier this morning another employee was air-lifted due to personal medical issue and is being treated. 
Emergency and utility personnel remain on scene and are continuing to test the building and will continue to monitor employees and the building."

This is a developing story.  Channel 3 has a crew on the scene.


PREVIOUS STORY: First responders have been dispatched for an industrial leak at Mills Products in Athens Wednesday morning after employees became sick according to Athens police. 

Emergency crews are using special testing equipment to determine what was leaked.

Over a dozen people have been taken to a local hospital for examination and treatment.

The facility has been evacuated as safety crews work to determine the cause. Emergency crews from Bradley, Polk, and McMinn counties are responding to Athens incident. 

The plant is located at 2530 Northridge Drive and is a metal forming and fabrication company, according to their website.

One worker was airlifted to a regional hospital in an un-related medical issue.