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Nine people hospitalized following chemical leak in Belle Glade


BELLE GLADE, FL– Nine people were sent to the hospital following a chemical leak at the Pioneer Growers plant on 227 Ave.
Fire rescue officials responded to the area around 8:00 a.m. due to “potential chemical and hazardous conditions.”
“Workers came in and, shortly thereafter, saw a large white fog coming from the back side of this plant,” said Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Capt. Tom Reyes. “It was in the air and the wind was taking it to the south and to the west.”
Authorities say the leak involved Chlorine Dioxide, which is a chemical used to sanitize and maximize the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
Nearby schools Belle Glade Elementary School and Lake Shore Middle School, were placed on lockdown while the fire department worked to get the situation under control.
Twenty-one people were examined at the plant and nine people were taken to the hospital for further evaluation.
Authorities reported that the children are unharmed and safe from the chemical threat.