More than a dozen hospitalized after Athens hazmat incident

Carbon monoxide

HMN-More than a dozen people were hospitalized after what is still being classified as an undetermined source.  Initial response was leaning towards Carbon Monoxide, however how elevated levels were not detected in patients bloodstreams. (Times Free Press)


More than a dozen people were hospitalized after an apparent hazmat incident at Mills Products Inc. in Athens, Tenn., but authorities are still unsure what that incident was.

McMinn County emergency services received three calls from the facility on Northridge Drive early Wednesday morning, according to Athens Fire Chief Jim Dyer.

He said multiple employees from a variety of divisions in the building were experiencing nausea and headaches, prompting concerns about carbon monoxide poisoning.

“We thought there might be carbon monoxide in their bloodstream,” Dyer said. “That is a life threatening situation.”

At least fifteen people were transported as a precaution, but fire teams detected no elevated carbon monoxide levels at the facility. A hazmat team called to the scene also could not immediately detect elevated carbon monoxide levels.

Dyer said it’s still unclear what might have caused the employees’ symptoms, but authorities will continue working to investigate the cause.

“When you transport more than a dozen people in a morning from the same place with the same symptoms, it makes you wonder,” he said.

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