One hospitalised after Shannon chemical incident

One hospitalised after Shannon chemical incident

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2020

One person is being treated in hospital as a precaution following an incident at chemical manufacturing company in Shannon, Co Clare this morning.

While the man was only hospitalised as a precaution, a ‘hazmat’ (hazardous material) incident was accidentally triggered for what was later found to be minor occurrence.

Emergency services were alerted at around 10.25am to an incident at the Reagecon facility in the Shannon Industrial Estate.

The man, who had been working with chemicals in an extraction hood, alerted the company’s on-site first aid personnel after he smelled a hazardous chemical.

Ambulance paramedics and units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service from Shannon and Ennis stations were mobilised to the incident along with Gardaí. Members of the fire service’s specialist ‘hazmat’ team were also mobilised to the scene.

The man was assessed at the scene by National Ambulance Service paramedics and removed to University Hospital Limerick as a precaution.

Emergency services at the scene in Shannon this morning – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2020

A company spokesman said: “One of our chemists, who was manufacturing a routine chemical mixture in an extraction hood, got a smell of a chemical that is hazardous. As a precaution he alerted our internal first aid team who went through our own usual internal protocols which includes carrying out a medical assessment and where required seeking further qualified medical attention.

In this instance, a call was made to the ambulance service and the call inadvertently triggered a full ‘hazmat’ response. The patient was checked by the Fire Service and his clothes changed before he was taken to hospital for a final medical check-up and is in perfect health.”

“Although the hazmat response was overkill for this incident and was triggered inadvertently, we as a chemical manufacturer are delighted with the speed, thoroughness and professionalism of all of the services involved in the visit to our site and we would like on behalf of all of our colleagues to thank them for this great responsiveness,” the spokesman said.

Reagecon is a global supplier of Chemical & Physical Standards, Consumables & Equipment and Chemicals.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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