Ten employees of Rich Automation, 1772 W. 23rd South, were treated for inhalation of ammonia fumes Wednesday afternoon.
Two employees were treated at the scene and the other eight were taken to St. Mark's and Pioneer Valley hospitals after a company employee spilled five gallons of the liquid outside the business and wind carried the fumes inside.The ammonia, used in a blueprint machine, spilled as an employee was preparing to dump it in a storm drain following an overhaul of the machine.
West Valley Fire Marshal John Blundell said fire crews diluted the 40-foot-long trail of spilled ammonia with water. Whether any citations will be issued for dumping or improperly handling the chemical is still undecided, he said.
Blundell said dumping the chemical down a public drain was not a good practice. "People who are in the business and work with hazardous materials of any type need to take the time to get educated about what these chemicals are and how they're used."
Wednesday's mishap is the second ammonia spill West Valley's fire department has responded to in the past several weeks. Employees of the Bonneville Canning Coca-Cola plant were evacuated May 10 when a safety valve on a pressurized ammonia line blew and the fumes were carried inside by the air conditioning system.