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After a chemical spill Tuesday at a plant in southwest suburban Elwood, IL, fumes sickened 18 workers, officials said

Two workers went to the hospital while 16 ended up treated and released at the scene, fire officials said.

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At 9:30 a.m. there was a release of a heat transfer fluid at Stepan Company’s Millsdale plant, which led to a response by local fire departments, said Stepan spokeswoman Kim Kumiega.

The release occurred during start-up activity at Stepan Chemical after workers finished planned maintenance, Kumiega said. She described it as a “small release.”

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Workers were lifting a unit inside of a building when the unit “over pressurized’’ and released the chemical, Therminol, a heat-transfer fluid, said Will County sheriff’s spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer.

Eighteen people suffered exposure to the vapor, said Hoffmeyer. “At no time were there any fires or explosions,’’ Hoffmeyer said.

The 18 workers were contract employees, Kumiega said.

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