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15 sent to hospital after Terre Haute chemical spill

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – A chemical spill Saturday on the south side of Terre Haute prompted evacuations and sent 15 people to the hospital, 24-Hour News 8 sister station WTHI reports.

Officials said that the exact location was 2400 Erie Canal Road, which is the address for Hydrite Chemical Co. and near the intersection of Erie Canal Road and East Voorhees Street. Originally they stated that the chemical was sulfuric acid – but firefighters on the scene reported later that it was sulfur dioxide.

Those in the area were evacuated and officials were blocking many streets nearby.

Callers to WTHI said that they could smell and taste the chemicals.

Many people were at the Terre Haute Quarter Midget track when the spill happened. Callers were stating that their lungs began to burn and as they were evacuating and they had to use their shirts to cover their faces.

“We’ve got everything under control at this time,” explained Joe Swan, with the Terre Haute Fire Department. “We believe Hydrite’s got everything shut down and there’s no leak at this time.”

Terre Haute Regional Hospital released a statement saying a total of 15 people were seen; of those only three had to be admitted for further testing and treatment.

“We do drills for situations like this, and we handled the real-life situation very well,” explained Chief Nursing Officer Angela Ellis. “A hospital emergency room is typically a busy place on a weekend night. Adding 15 patients to the mix at one time made it a little more hectic than usual, but we were able to handle it. I’m proud of the way we worked together-our firefighters and EMS, doctors, staff, housekeeping-everyone. I’m just glad the injuries weren’t more serious.”