8 hospitalized in Wacker chemical explosion

WATE/WTVC - CHARLESTON, Tenn. (WATE) -- Bradley County Schools says it will be closed Friday "in consideration for the safety of our families" after an explosion at Wacker chemical plant Thursday.

James Bradford of the Bradley County Sheriff's Office says a firefighter responding to the Wacker chemical plant has been taken to a nearby hospital due to "heat exhaustion." This after a second leak at the plant Thursday evening.


Tennova Health says that eight patients have so far been admitted to the emergency room with minor irritations related to the incident.

We also reached out to the Tennessee Occupational and Health Safety Administration to ask if they had been contacted about the explosion.

TOSHA responded that they are aware of the incident, and will combine both this investigation with their investigation into last Thursday's incident at the plant in which five people were injured.

Bradley County EMA says because of a wind shift near the plant, residents living up to 1.5 miles south of Wacker should stay inside until notified otherwise.

 As a precaution, residents in the area should not use their AC units.

Crews have closed Lauderdale Memorial Hwy between Hwy 11 and I-75.

Bill Toth, Director of Corporate Communications for Wacker could not answer when asked if there is a danger to the public.

Toth says they are busy "mitigating the incident," and will release a statement later.

The Bradley County Sheriff's Office released a statement about an explosion at the Wacker chemical plant in Charleston, Tennessee Wednesday afternoon around 4 p.m.

At approximately 4:00 p.m. an alleged explosion was reported tothe 911 Communications Center from residents around Wacker Polysilicon, located inCharleston, TN.Upon arrival, first-responders were able to determine a mechanical failure caused a plume of low-concentrated hydrochloric acid to form a cloud that was visible within a portion within the Charleston area.Students from Walker Valley High School students sheltered in place and CharlestonElementary School students were transported to Ocoee Middle School for pickup by parents. Additionally, residents within the Charleston area were advised to shelter in place and turn off H.V.A.C. systems to minimize exposure.Representatives from Wacker Polysilicon and area first-responders were able to evaluatethe incident in order to communicate the precautionary procedures to ensure the safety ofthe community.Earlier reports advised there were no injuries at the facility; however medical responderswere able to locate one patient at the facility needing medical assistance. At this time weare unable to determine if the patien
t's injuries are related to the incident or health
An official media release from Wacker Polysilicon will disseminated once their internalinvestigation has concluded

First responders say they were able to determine that a mechanical failure created a cloud of low-concentrated hydrochloric acid to form.

Bradley County Emergency Management Agency advised people to avoid the Charleston, Tenn. area.

Several citizens there have reported hearing sounds of an explosion and feeling the ground shake.

Bradley County Schools said they're taking precautions by turning off their AC units to avoid contact with smoke in the air. School officials are asking that parents of children on buses 1, 3, 22, and 43 pick up their children at Ocoee Middle School.

This is the second time in one week the Wacker Chemical plant has experienced an incident.

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