11 workers have been hospitalized after a series of unidentified chemical leaks at the site’s aging tank farms. The two workers initially exposed are not recovering as expected. Multiple additional workers were made sick with some at an area 8-10 miles away from the initial incident. Response workers were also sickened when they went to investigate without wearing any protective masks or gear.
“Immediately afterward two employees from what’s known as the industrial hygiene department of WRPS, who monitor chemical exposures, were sent out to investigate and they too, had reactions to the fumes and were transported to the onsite medical facility. Those employees allegedly were not wearing protective devices such as respirators.”
Workers complained to the local media about ongoing problems with the contractor running the tank farm not taking proper precautions and refusing to install improved monitoring that might have prevented the incident.
The state of Washington has also put a mandate that certain tanks be fully drained at the tank farm by September 1st. One of the tanks of concern isn’t the old WWII era single wall tanks but one of the new double wall tanks installed to be a solution to the dangers of the older tanks.