Chemical release at plant in Pasadena

April 24, 2008 9:20:59 PM PDT
Several workers went to the hospital Thursday after a chemical leak at a Pasadena facility. An unknown amount of silicon tetraflouride leaked from MEMC Electrical Components in Pasadena, which is near Preston and Highway 225, around 5pm.

At least 30 workers were hurt, some spending the night in the hospital. They went there after the mishap at the facility released the hazardous gas into the air.

"A hose from a transport vehicle attached to our plant in Pasadena, Texas, developed a leak," said a company spokesperson.

The toxic release left the frontage road at Highway 225 and Preston closed off. Used as a staging area, ambulances and hazardous materials response teams were briefed before entering the MEMC facility.

Silicon tetrafluoride is a chemical used at the facility every day. It's toxic and can cause death. The chemical can kill if it is inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. The vapors are extremely irritating and corrosive.

Contact with the chemical in gas or liquefied gas form can cause burns, frostbite and other severe injuries. This volatile chemical is used in creating micro electronics.

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