IL Candy Factory Chemical Spill

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 @ 11:06 AM gHale


A chemical spill at a candy factory in Itasca, IL, forced an evacuation that left 18 workers ill Friday.

Shift workers at the Willy Wonka Candy Factory returned to work Saturday after the lithium chloride spill.

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Lithium chloride is a chemical used for humidity control.

When firefighters arrived around 1:30 a.m., workers were already outside, officials said.

About 18 workers complained of respiratory issues and around a dozen of them went to the hospital for treatment.

“Our companies got on the scene and evaluated, found the building evacuated,” said Deputy Fire Chief John Radzinskil. “The product was not the main problem. It was a water soluble product that we didn’t have much to do with. They’re going to clean that up on their own.”

Wonka is a Nestle company.

The company said the spill happened at 9:30 p.m. when a pipe carrying the lithium chloride burst.

The company said it is a non-hazardous material and the spill ended up contained.

However, hours later, employees began complaining of nausea and difficulty breathing.

At first, two or three employees complained of nausea 2.5 hours after the spill had been contained, said spokeswoman Roz O’Hearn. Later, more employees began complaining of sickness.