Two Workers Injured In Chemical Fire
Posted February 12, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST
WILSON COUNTY — A chemical fire at a electrical cable plant injured two workers Tuesday morning.
A 55-gallon drum of Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) caught on fire in the back of the Nexans Berk-Tek plant in Elm City. The plant's 250 workers were evacuated.
The sprinkler system in the plant was activated, but attempts to douse the flames with water did not work. Crews later had to use foam to stop the blaze.
Firefighters suited up in special gear with aluminum coating to handle the situation. MEK can be moderately or extremely toxic if inhaled in concentrated amounts.
Several businesses near the plant had to be evacuated, including a strip mall.
Initial reports say two people were taken to Wilson Medical Center for treatment. One person received burns to the arms. The other victim suffered burns to his chest.