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7 treated after chlorine leak at Zeeland factory | News

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7 treated after chlorine leak at Zeeland factory

ZEELAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- Seven people suffered minor injuries today when chlorine leaked at a Zeeland factory.

It happened around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Mead Johnson Nutrition plant on East Main Street.

Alarms registered that a small chlorine leak had occured. The leak was in a small cylinder that was part of a water treatment system. Firefighters believe the chlorine was leaking out of a valve, possibly due to corrosion.

Chlorine is a chemical that can make it hard to breathe, and exposure can lead to pneumonia.

The affected employees were taken to local hospitals to be checked out for breathing concerns. Five patients went to Holland Hospital, and the two others were taken to Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital.

As a precaution, a nearby bank closed. Herman Miller workers were also sent home early, and the furniture maker's second shift was told to stay home.

The plant is across the street from a school.

"We kept the school children from coming out to play soccer," says Zeeland Fire Chief Bill Gruppen.

Firefighters say Tuesday's windy conditions also helped dissipate any leaking chlorine into the air.

What is chlorine and why is it dangerous? Click here for information from the CDC.



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