3 Hurt in Chemical Blast at FL Plant

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 02:09 PM gHale

Three people suffered injuries in a chemical explosion at a Lakeland, FL, warehouse Friday, officials said.

Fifty people ended up evacuated from the area around the Natural Advantage Food Flavorings plant Friday afternoon, said Lakeland Fire Department officials.

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Sixteen people, including six employees, six nearby people and four firefighters ended up decontaminated.

Two victims were taken to Tampa General Hospital and another went to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. All three suffered chemical burns.

Two chemicals, toluene and sodium hypochlorite, likely caused the explosion, fire officials said.

Toluene is typically used as an industrial solvent, and sodium hypochlorite is a bleaching agent.

The chemicals end up used to clean the kettles where worker make the food flavorings.

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