Two employees of Calumet Refinery in Great Falls, MT, and a Great Falls firefighter went to the hospital late Wednesday after suffering low-level chemical exposure.
Firefighters got the call to the refinery at 9:42 p.m., and soon determined the medical injuries to the employees may have been due to exposure to hydrogen sulfide, or H2S, and moved the employees to Benefis Health Systems for treatment.
While on scene, a Great Falls Firefighter suffered possible exposure to the chemical and also went to Benefis.
The 11-year veteran firefighter is currently in stable condition.
H2S is an inhalation hazard and ended up confined to the tank in the area. The low-level exposure stayed on the Calumet property and does not pose a danger to the community, officials said.
Calumet Refinery is now back to operating the facility.
Great Falls Fire Rescue meets regularly with Calumet regarding safety training and community concerns.
Noel Ryan, vice president of investor/media relations for Calumet, released the following statement Thursday:
“Calumet had an incident on Wednesday night at the Great Falls, Montana refinery where two employees were taken to Benefis Health Systems for observation following exposure to chemical vapors. The low level exposure was confined to the Calumet property line and does not pose a hazard to the local community. Production at the facility remains unaffected by this incident. The safety and wellbeing of our employees and contractors remains our top priority. We intend to collaborate with the authorities in our joint investigation of the incident.”