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08-30-17 Haz-Mat Incident Sends Two Dozen People to Local Hospitals

When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, the hazardous materials team was called in, along with ambulances with Hamilton County EMS. Battalion Chief Don Bowman said two or three employees complained of difficulty breathing and vomiting. The symptoms for most of the other employees were less severe. Chief Bowman said all had elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

After sorting out who was sick and who was not, Hamilton County EMS transported 24 patients to Erlanger Medical Center's main campus, Memorial Hospital's main campus, Memorial North Park and Parkridge Medical Center. A paramedic with EMS said none of the patients appeared to have life-threatening injuries. All were expected to be treated and released today.

Chief Bowman said haz-mat personnel monitored the air quality inside Southern Filter Media while the building was ventilated. The employees were allowed back in the building around noon. An employee told firefighters that they were using the same heat sealing process they've always used, but they were using a slightly different material. The company will be conducting it's own investigation into what happened.

Southern Filter Media produces filter bags and has 111 employees. No information was available on how this incident would impact the company's operation. Chattanooga police also provided assistance on the scene.

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Fire Administration
910 Wisdom Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37406
(423) 643-5600
(423) 643-5610 (fax)

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910 Wisdom Street (map)
Chattanooga, TN 37406
(423) 643-5618
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