Hazmat unit called to Sun Valley Foods

More than 75 people were evacuated around 3 p.m. Thursday after a chemical spill at Sun Valley Foods.

Members of the Hazmat unit respond to a chemical spill at Sun Valley Foods Thursday.

Members of the Hazmat unit respond to a chemical spill at Sun Valley Foods Thursday.

More than 75 people were evacuated around 3 p.m. Thursday after a chemical spill at Sun Valley Foods.

Deputy fire chief Lou Wilde said that the Hazardous Materials unit was brought in after two products were spilled and then mixed together.

“We had a call to this business for a spill of a couple products. One we know is chlorine, the other one is a citrus cleaning solution containing citric acid. The two of them mixed, giving off a vapour that was a respiratory irritant,” said Wilde.

The deputy fire chief added that the mixture can also create a rash or burning sensation.

About six other businesses east of Sun Valley Foods were also evacuated as a precaution.

“It’s a big volume building that we’re talking about; it’s taken quite some time to get the vapours out of it,” said Wilde.

“As a precaution, we evacuated from the railroad tracks at the bottom of Dilworth to Enterprise and from the west side of Dilworth to the property line here.

“We don’t want to be ventilating the vapours out of this building and have them go into another building and having people exposed.”

According to Wilde, three people were immediately involved with the spill; therefore, the first priority was decontaminating them.

Glenn Braithwaite, district supervisor with BC Ambulance Service, said that there were no life-threatening injuries.

“We don’t believe that anybody’s been directly exposed to this. But we are aware that the substances that we’re dealing with do have an after effect that can mitigate itself after the fact.,” said Braithwaite.

“We anticipate that we’re going to transport three patients to the Kelowna General Hospital; we’re assessing 33 other patients that we may or may not transport to the hospital.”

At 4:40 p.m. the air quality in the building was deemed safe and employees were allowed to return to the building.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

Kelowna Capital News

Just Posted

Most Read