Workers Exposed to White Chemical Powder
East St. Louis, Illinois
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) – A city official says at least eight people were sickened after exposure to a dangerous chemical at a storage and mixing plant in East St. Louis, Illinois. Emergency rooms were quarantined at two St. Louis hospitals where those people got treatment.
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According to a fire official, the chemical was released when a barrel was dropped at the Ro-Corp. plant. The lid popped off the barrel and a white powder came out and coated the victims.
Authorities are “99 percent” certain the chemical was nitroaniline, a highly toxic material. It’s commonly used in the synthesis of dyes, antioxidants, pharmaceuticals, gasoline, poultry medicines, and as a corrosion inhibitor.
An investigation is under way. The FBI is reportedly involved.