Two demolition workers remain in intensive care in critical condition after a spill of a hazardous chemical at a former factory off Jefferson Road in Henrietta, NY.
Crews were called around 9:20 Monday morning to the Amesbury Truth building for a report of a chemical leak.
Five people ended up exposed to a chemical known as methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), a chemical known to cause respiratory issues and can even be fatal. Three people were rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital, two of them in critical condition, while two others were treated at the scene. The condition of the third worker hospitalized is not known.
All employees ended up evacuated and about 50 responders were called to the scene, including the Monroe County Hazardous Materials unit who entered the building to determine the extent of the chemical leak.
The building used to be Amesbury Truth. Previous to that, it was the Schlegel Corporation. They moved out of state and crews were in the process of demolition in the back of the building. Amesbury Truth makes window and door products, including weatherstripping made out of foam and other materials.
That demo work is the cause of the leak, said Mark Cholach, Henrietta Fire District assistant fire chief.
“As part of that, there were three to four large tanks of this material,” Cholach said. “The tanks had been cleaned out. They were in the process of demolishing those tanks and the associated pipes that ran from the tanks to the building. It appears that during the demolition of one of those pipes, that chemical came out and exposed the patients.”