54 package delivery workers hospitalized over chemical leak from package in Turkey
İZMİT – Doğan News Agency
AA photoFifty-four workers for a package delivery company in the northwestern province of Kocaeli have been hospitalized after suspected poisoning, following a chemical leak from a package.
Workers at a package delivery company in Kocaeli’s Başiskele district experienced difficulty in breathing after a package containing sodium benzoate burst open in the factory.
The workplace was evacuated after the chemical spread.
Ambulances were dispatched to the company and the workers were taken to the Derince Education and Research Hospital for treatment. The workers were admitted to the hospital’s Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) center, where special measures were taken.
The hospital cleaned the workers of chemical remnants and distributed fresh clothing to affected individuals, while blood samples were taken.
The chief physician at the hospital, Dr Soner Şahin, announced that 40 workers had been discharged, while the treatment of 14 patients is ongoing.
Kocaeli Public Hospitals Union head Şenol Ergüney told state-run Anadolu Agency that there were no serious threats to the affected workers’ health.
“They were affected by the evaporation of a chemical substance. Their overall health situation is good, there is nothing dangerous,” Ergüney said.
Officials from the provincial directorate for environment and urban planning examined the premises of the delivery company, while a formal investigation has been launched.
Reports indicate that the package belonged to a chemical company and contained a chemical called “sodium benzoate,” a compound used in preserving food, as an antiseptic, and in the pharmaceutical industry.