Chem Exposure Hurts 14, Forces Evac

Thursday, June 2, 2016 @ 06:06 PM gHale


An incorrectly mixed batch of chemicals forced an evacuation and sent one man to the hospital and injured 13 others at a manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, CA, Tuesday morning, a fire official said.

Firefighters responded to the incident at Stangenes Industries Inc. shortly before 9 a.m., Palo Alto Deputy Fire Chief Catherine Capriles said.

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Two employees incorrectly mixed epoxy resin, a substance used to make the company’s transformers, in a plastic bucket and caused a chemical reaction, Capriles said.

They ran the melting bucket outside, where firefighters found it and called for a hazardous materials team, Capriles said.

The pair had been working on making the material inert to dispose the chemical, she said.

As a result of the chemical release, 14 employees complained of shortness of breath and abdominal pain, Capriles said. One man ended up transported to a hospital for treatment and emergency medical personnel treated and released the other 13 people at the scene, Capriles said.

The hospitalized man was not one of the two employees mixing the chemical, Capriles said.

About 50 employees evacuated from the company’s two-story office building and not allowed back in until crews finished cleaning the chemical spill, she said.

Palo Alto-based Stangenes Industries Inc. opened in 1974 and designs and manufactures moderators, transformers and electromagnetic components, according to the company’s website.