TV: More workers rushed to hospital at U.S. nuclear site — 17 sickened in past week — Former Employee: “It’s pretty scary… to have this many in 8 days is really abnormal” — Company: We’re trying to understand what’s happening (VIDEO)

Thursday, March 27, 2014
By Paul Martin
March 27th, 2014

KING 5 News Seattle, Mar. 26, 2014: Hanford workers sickened by unknown vapors rises to 17 — The KING 5 Investigators have found that six Hanford workers were sickened Wednesday from ingesting chemical vapors at the nuclear facility. […] This brings the total to 17 Hanford employees who have needed medical care since last Wednesday due to the inhalation of toxic vapors. […] “Data collection and analysis is underway in the affected (tank) farms to understand what happened and what might be done to reduce the likelihood of future occurrences,” said [Jerry Holloway, External Affairs Manager at U.S. Dept. of Energy’s contractor Washington River Protection Solutions]. […] The incident Wednesday occurred in yet another location at the Hanford site […] Sources tell the reporter 17 people were working on the video inspection when three were suddenly sickened by the release of vapors.

Mike Geffre, retired WRPS employee who spent 26 years at Hanford: “It’s pretty scary. It doesn’t usually happen like this. Usually you see four or five a year. But to have this many in eight days is really abnormal […] Whenever you hear of someone getting tank vapors, you never know what the long term affects are. The affects of exposures like this can show up as health problems years down the road.”

KING 5 News transcript: The King 5 investigators learned that workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have been rushed to the hospital. […] I was in Richland doing an interview on this very topic […] during that interview we got word from sources that right at that time that 3 more employees were either going to the hospital here or taken to the onsite medical facility at Hanford because of another such incident […] In those three separate incidents the workers were all at different locations at Hanford, so this isn’t just one problem area where they’re seeing a repeat problem. […] Obviously, workers are concerned, feel there’s a problem here, and they want their employer and the Department of Energy to do something about it.

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