A contractor poured acid into a tank of sodium chloride causing an explosion that released fumes akin to mustard gas, left five people injured and forced the evacuation of hundreds of workers at Gehl Gurney Farms in Germantown, WI.
The plant makes cheese and cheese sauces. Officials say there’s no danger to residents, but the spill prompted a massive response from at least six different fire departments.
Germantown Fire Department officials said a contractor accidentally poured acid into a tank of sodium chloride. That combination of chemicals caused the tank to burst, releasing fumes similar to mustard gas.
Fire crews flushed everything out of the building and are working to return to normal operations. Once they flushed the contaminated area and the pH had returned to neutral, fire officials completed air monitoring and the plant ended up handed back over to Gehl’s.
The five injured ended up treated and released from the hospital.