By: Rick McCann/Staff
PRIVATE OFFICER NEWS
http://www.privateofficer.com/ – An employee of the DuPont Company in Belle West Virginia is dead and an investigation by several federal agencies is underway.
Carl Fish, who worked at the plant for all of his life died after an accident Saturday in which he was accidentally sprayed in the face with Phoegene. The chemical was used in World War I to “choke” soldiers on the battlefield.
Kent Carper, Kanawha County Commissioner, on Sunday afternoon ordered the release of the 911 tape where plant security officer reported the employees injury. The security guard did not inform first responders that the man had been exposed to a chemical or that there was any type of hazardous situation Carper said.
The guard simply asked for an ambulance due to “a medical emergency,” and did not indicate any further circumstances which caused no further details given to 911 responders.
Therefore, first responders entered the plant without preparations for phoegene treatment.
According to the CDC website, delayed effects from exposure take about 48 hours to occur. These include breathing difficulties, coughing up white to pink-tinged fluid (pulmonary edema), low blood pressure and possible heart failure. These symptoms may occur “even if the person feels better or appears well following removal from exposure. People who have been exposed to phosgene should be monitored for 48 hours.”
The plant has voluntarily suspended production for a safety pause.
As of Sunday night, the following information has surfaced: (1) That OSHA and the Chemical Safety Board may inspect the plant (per the Charleston Gazette); and (2) that a small fire had been reported at the DuPont plant on Sunday evening.
There was no word on whether or not the security guard has been suspended or terminated.