Four employees at a York County paper plant remain hospitalized after they sustained serious chemical burns Saturday. York County Emergency Management Director Cotton Howell says that a pipe carrying sodium hydroxide ruptured at the Resolute Forest Products plant in Catawba, spraying the dangerous chemical on the employees.
In-house first responders offered first aid to the affected workers immediately, while plant workers requested medical assistance just after 9 a.m. Howell says that prior planning and coordination allowed the firefighters and EMS workers to know exactly what they were walking into.
“They’re required to call us immediately immediately if there’s an accident involving one of these hazardous chemicals,” he told Rock Hill radio station WRHI.
In 2000, two welders died and several others were injured after an explosion in an outdoor tank on plant property. The Catawba Plant, formerly owned by Bowater, employs 767 workers in southern York County.
Andrew Kiel of Rock Hill station WRHI contributed to this report