On behalf of the Tukwila Fire Department
Tukwila, Wash – January 31, 2019 – Five people, including three firefighters, were hospitalized today after potentially being exposed to a chemical.
The incident began as an aid call in the 1100 block of Industry Drive at 1:00 pm. An employee working for a company that deals with hazardous materials called 911 to report difficulty breathing and dizziness.
While treating the employee, the three firefighters who responded to the call, along with another person who was at the location, began to also experience shortness of breath.
The material which caused the symptoms appears to have been Methyl Magnesium Iodide (MMI). It is unclear what the chemical is used for.
The incident was changed from an aid call to a hazardous materials response, which brought units from throughout south King County. The five people affected were evaluated by King County medics and transported to a local hospital as a precaution.
The area was quickly evacuated, and nearby streets closed.
Specially trained hazardous materials technicians went into the building and confirmed that the MMI was in fact the cause of the medical issues. They also ensured that the liquid was sealed and would not be a further issue.
The building has been aired out and turned back over to the company.