Local News

Hazmat teams called to Clayton plant; one injured

Posted January 25, 2009 9:21 a.m. EST
Updated January 25, 2009 4:27 p.m. EST

— Hazmat teams dealt with a chemical problem Sunday at a Clayton pharmaceutical manufacturing facility that sent a person to the hospital.

Johnston County dispatch officials said that calls about the situation at the Novo Nordisk facility, 3612 Powhatan Road, came in shortly after 1 a.m.

An employee was using a cleaning system, containing sodium hypochlorite, to clean the vessels used to make insulin. Instead of adding more sodium hypochlorite, the employee accidentally added hydrochloric acid. Once the chemicals were mixed, the employee realized the mistake and was overcome by fumes.

Dispatch officials said that hazmat teams had the chemicals contained within the 3,000 gallon cleaning system and under control before 2 a.m. No one had to be evacuated from the area.

Crews transported the 35-year-old male employee to Johnston Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, dispatch officials said.

Novo Nordisk, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, uses its Clayton facility to manufacture insulin for people with diabetes, according to the company's Web site.